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I often find myself in the need to gather data (say from the internet), into a table, for comparison reasons. I usually need the final table output in HTML or MediaWiki mostly, but often times also Latex. My biggest problem is that I often forget the correct table syntax for these markup languages, as well as what needs to be properly escaped in the inline data, for the table to render correctly. So, I often wish there was a GUI application, which provides a tabular framework - which I could stick "Always on Top" as a desktop window, and I could paste content into specific cells - before finally exporting the table as a code in the correct language.

One application that partially allows this is Open/LibreOffice calc:

drag-n-drop-A

drag-n-drop-B

The good thing here is that:

  • I can drag and drop browser content into a specifically targeted table cell (here B2)
  • "Rich" text / HTML code gets pasted
  • For long content, the cell (column) width stays put as it originally was

The bad thing is, that:

  • when the cell height (due to content size) becomes larger than the calc window, it becomes nearly impossible to scroll calc contents up and down (at least with the mousewheel), as the view gets reset to top-right corner of the selected cell
  • calc shows an "endless"/unlimited field of cells, so not exactly a "table" - which I find visually very confusing (and cognitively taxing)
  • Can only export table to HTML

What I would need is an application that:

  • Allows for a limited size table, but with quick adding of rows and columns (e.g. via corresponding + buttons)
  • Allows for quick setup of row and column height and width (as well as table size)
  • Stays put at those sizes, regardless of size of content pasted in; if cell content overflows, cell scrollbars are shown (cell content could be possibly re-edited in a separate/new window); if table overflows over window size, window scrollbars are shown
  • Exports table in multiple formats (I'd need both HTML and mediawiki), properly escaping cell content for each (possibility to strip HTML tags from content pasted in cells, to get plain text, is a plus)

Targeting a specific cell in the table for the content paste operation is a must - it doesn't have to be drag'n'drop though, a right click over a cell with "Paste content" is enough. I'd also want the ability to click in a specific cell and type in (plain text) content immediately.

So, my question is: is there an application out there that already does something like this? The reason I'm asking is that - as the screenshots show - for instance Libre/OpenOffice allows it, but only somewhat (as using it for that purpose is tedious). I know there exist some GUI editors for Linux (both for UI like guile or HTML like amaya); but I don't know them enough to pinpoint if any of them would offer this kind of functionality (and at least in my searches, that kind of functionality, if present in diverse software, seems not to be advertised).

Note I'm not interested in styling an HTML table, which is why I haven't used "table designer" in the title, but "table editor" (in lack of better terms) - I'm interested in (quickly) adjusting row/column size of the table, and populating it with pasted data (which is possibly HTML) in a GUI; and finally exporting such a table as self-contained HTML (or other) code.

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