Tabletoy

Download Tabletoy

This Safari extension is designed to overcome two common problems with tables on web pages. (I’m talking here about tables that actually display tabular data, not the kind of tables that are used by old-timey web designers to lay out a page.)

Problem #1
If a table is taller than the window it’s in, by the time you scroll down to the end of the table, the header row has scrolled out of view.
Problem #2
Most tables are not sortable. (Why the heck not?)

With Tabletoy installed, you can make a table’s header row “float” above the table, so it’s always in view. And you can make almost any table sortable by any column, so you can sort it by clicking a column header.

Tabletoy has one more feature, one that comes in handy when you want to print a table, but not all the other stuff on the page. With the table printing feature, you can essentially isolate a table, hiding everything else around it. Then, once you’ve printed the table, you can restore the document to its original state.

How to use Tabletoy

Tabletoy doesn’t do anything until you tell it to. You do that by using one of the context menu commands that become available when you right-click (or Control-click) a table.

To make a table’s header row float

Right-click a cell in the last header row and then select “Float This Row And Above” in the context menu. It’s important that you right-click the last header row, because Tabletoy can’t always distinguish between header rows and normal rows. If there’s only one header row, as is usually the case, just right-click that row.

Nothing will seem to happen at first, but if you scroll down past the top of the table, you’ll notice that the header row “sticks” at the top of the window and floats above the table. If you continue scrolling past the bottom of the table, the header row will stop floating and scroll out of view.

To sort a table

First, right-click anywhere in the table and select “Make Table Sortable” in the context menu. You’ll notice the column headers become underlined (if they weren’t before).

Then, just click any column header to sort the table by that column.

To prepare a table for printing

Right-click anywhere in the table and select “Print This Table” in the context menu. Everything else on the page will be hidden. After printing, click the Return button or press Esc to restore the page.

Caveats

If a table has fewer than three rows, Tabletoy’s context menu command will not be available.

Tabletoy can’t do anything with tables that do not use the standard HTML table tags. Some tables are built using plain text; Tabletoy won’t work on those.

Due to the many variables in web page design, TableToy may sometimes mess up a table when you use it. For example, the header row may become slightly misaligned with the rest of the table. In bad cases, the whole table may even shift some distance in any direction. If something bad happens, please let me know and I’ll try to fix it. You can post in the support forum or send me an email.

Download Tabletoy

2010 Canisbos Computing
Creative Commons License

Notes