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Tables are a great way to organize and display data. They can be created in the VisualEditor, by using wikitext, and in the classic editor's visual mode.

It is important to carefully consider what tables are truly meant to do and use them primarily for displaying data.

In the VisualEditor

The VisualEditor offers a simple experience of creating a table.

  1. Open a page in the VisualEditor.
  2. Under the insert dropdown, choose table.
    Adding table in VisualEditor

    4x4 appears after inserting table

  3. A 4 X 4 grid will appear. Click on a cell and enter either your label or your data.
  4. If you want to expand or contract the grid, click on arrows surrounding the table and you'll get a dropdown that will offer you the chance alter the structure of your table.
    VE-TableControls

    Hit the arrows to make a change

  5. Hit Save page when ready to publish.

In source mode

For advanced editors, editing tables in source mode can allow greater manipulation of table content. This is described in the Help:Tables/Wikitext page.

In the classic editor's visual mode

To create a table using the classic editor's visual mode, click on the table button on the right rail. Table button

Edit toolbar table highlighted

Click the table button

  1. In edit mode, click on the table button under the Insert section of the editing toolbar.
  2. A pop-up box will appear, allowing you to choose the parameters you want for your table.
    Table properties

    Create your table

  3. Once you click OK, a table will appear in your text. You can now input content.
  4. Should you need to change the table parameters, simply right click, and make the needed changes.
    Table editor

    Right click to edit

Best practices with tables

Although tables can be used for design, they shouldn't be. The results on mobile devices are awkward because tables aren't very responsive. That is, on different sized displays, tables look different—and often are ugly. Throw pictures into tables and the results can easily become unreadable on a phone. And if you're making whole pages or sections of articles out of tables, it'd probably be good to rethink that strategy.

Instead, as has been argued since at least 2004, tables should be about data only.

Here are some specific things to consider when using tables:

  • As you increase the number of columns, you increase the chances that your table isn't going to display correctly on a mobile device. Think carefully about whether you need all those columns.
  • Some games use icons liberally, meaning there's a case to be made that icons are necessary and often helpful. If you run a wiki like this, make sure all the images you use in your tables are cut to the same size, and make that size no larger than you need them to be. Anything much above 25px widths could bring problems. Additionally, make sure to use text adjacent to the icons, so those unfamiliar with what the icons mean will understand.
  • It's very common for wikis to make notices on the top of pages—things like {{delete}}—using table markup. These are typically problematic on phones, and most readers on mobile devices don't care about them. You can skirt the issue by making sure they have a template type of Notice.
  • Similar to the above, it is very common for wikis to make navigation boxes (Navboxes) that provide links to related articles at the end of articles using table markup. Ensure that these have the template type Navbox.
  • Always check what your table looks like on a phone.

Further help and feedback

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