How to insert a table into a WordPress post or page

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Sometimes you may want to display some sort of data in a table on your WordPress blog. There are ways to import an Excel spreadsheet into a post, and here's a link to the Excel section of the WordPress Codex: http://wordpress.org/tags/excel

But sometimes Excel is overkill—or maybe you don't use Excel and just need a very simple table. You can accomplish this with the TinyMCE Advanced plugin.

The plugin has lots of other helpful features, too, one of which is that you can tell it to stop removing your <p> and <br> tags, as shown below. It's frustrating to format a post and then have your line breaks and paragraphs stripped out as soon as you save. Once you've installed the plugin, checking this option will save you some hair-tearing moments.

But on to the reason we're talking about this WordPress table plugin today. First you'll want to download the plugin from the link above. Save it somewhere on your computer where you can find it again.

Install it one of two ways: 1) by unzipping the folder and uploading it into your wp-content/plugins/ folder via your FTP program, or 2) by going to Plugins > New > Upload in your WordPress dashboard. Browse to its location on your hard drive and upload the unzipped file. Then be sure to activate the plugin with the Activate link under its name.

When you've done that, find the settings panel by going to Settings > TinyMCE Advanced in the left-hand column of your dashboard. You'll see something like this:

You can drag any of the options you'd like to have in your toolbar up to the shaded bars. One of them is Table, shown in the above screenshot. Drag this to one of the bars and click Save Changes.

Now, go back to the post where you want to insert the table. Click on the Insert Table icon, shown below.

In the box that pops up, choose how many columns and rows you need to have, like so:

You can also experiment with the padding, spacing, alignment, borders and other properties to suit your particular purpose. Then, once you click on Insert, you'll see the table in your post:

Doesn't look like much yet, but look at the next shot:

You click in the various fields to type in your text, and you add photos the same way as to a regular post. To delete a table, just click on its edge to select it and hit Delete on your keyboard or the far right button on the Table toolbar that you installed.

The Table toolbar buttons are also where you would go to edit a table after you've created it; just click on the table to make the icons usable. You can add and delete rows and columns, merge cells, change properties, etc.

So there you go—install the plugin and play with it! Be sure to check out its other features as well.

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