WP Table Manager: Office-Grade Spreadsheets Table Editor in WordPress
Tables are notoriously annoying to embed in WordPress blogs: they are difficult to manage and update, and not very responsive. Does that statement resonate with you? If it does, then WP Table Manager might just change your mind.
WP Table Manager is a WordPress plugin that helps you manage and embed tables right in your WordPress blog, but that description does the addon a disservice. The plugin is so much more than a simple table manager: you can use spreadsheet functions and equations right in your WordPress blog, create charts from tables, and even import and synchronize Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
Table management in WordPress
Vanilla WordPress does not handle tables very well. You can create tables with Gutenberg, but they are very limited: sure, you can insert images and text, and perform basic formatting, but that’s about it. It is a far cry from the more complex spreadsheets. In contrast, WP Table Manager gives you those functionalities and allows you to embed those tables in your WordPress posts and pages.
WP Table Manager has an intuitive interface that has recently been revamped to have a modern look. The plugin organizes tables into categories, or folders, to help you arrange your data according to the subject. With that functionality, you can navigate these categories like a normal file manager.
One significant advantage of WP Table Manager is that you can go beyond standard tables. WP Table Manager also supports creating tables from databases. In essence, that means you can select a few columns from a database table and convert them into a WordPress table that you can edit and embed anywhere in your blog.
Editing tables like spreadsheets
One of WP Table Manager’s main strengths is its table editor. The editor is accessible by clicking on a created table and is the place where you will find all of the functionality you have grown used to having in other spreadsheet editors, like Google Sheets or Microsoft Excel.
The basic features include auto-saving, cell merging, text formatting, and more. To help you work with data, WP Table Manager has recently introduced column data types. And if you need to perform some quick calculations automatically, you can even call some of the most common spreadsheet functions, like DATE, SUM, COUNT, and AVG.
WP Table Manager is not just about functionality. There are many features, but they’re also many styling options. The plugin comes with six themes for tables and several automatic styling presets to give your rows alternating colors.
If you do not like the existing color schemes, there are several options for you to consider. For example, you can define your own from the addon’s configuration, or you can go the old-fashioned way and style each cell individually. If you are a bit savvier, you can even write your own CSS style from the table editor itself.
Responsive HTML tables
Then, there is the biggest headache of all tables: displaying them properly—on all devices. That is a problem as old as smartphones: how do you display something that takes so much width on a device so small while making sure the data remains clear?
WP Table Manager has two solutions to achieve that goal. The first option is to set your WordPress tables to be scrollable when they do not fit on small (or even large) devices, which ensures the original table structure is maintained.
The alternative is to collapse rows. In this mode, WP Table Manager shows as much data as possible in your tables. The plugin hides the data that does not fit on the device neatly using an expandable section: users can expand rows to view the hidden data. Best of all, you retain complete control over data, and you can prioritize which columns to show at all times.
Visualizations and charts from data
Sometimes, it is easier to show data instead of listing it. Data visualizations are a staple of modern spreadsheet editors, and now charts can be a feature in your WordPress blog too.
With WP Table Manager, you can convert your data into charts with astonishing ease. The plugin follows the standard formula: select the data, choose a visualization type, and perform the finishing touches by styling.
The WordPress plugin currently supports six different types of charts: lines, bar, radar, polar area, pie, and donut graphs. In addition to the chart’s type, you can toy around with several styling options, including the alignment and color scheme.
Tables, meet Gutenberg
Editing and managing tables are all well and good, but using them in your WordPress blog is better. WP Table Manager makes it easy to insert your data into your pages and posts by providing blocks for the Gutenberg editor.
All you need to do is look up the created table and insert it into your content. What’s more, the insertion is dynamic. That means the WordPress table changes whenever the data changes, so you can use it to create dynamic WordPress pages.
Tables are not the only thing you can insert into WordPress. In addition to the table block, WP Table Manager also provides a block for charts: you can use it to embed visualizations along the rest of your content. Like tables, visualizations in your WordPress pages and posts are also dynamic.
Compatibility with Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets
WordPress tables are good if you want to present information to your blog’s readers, but not for collaboration or more comprehensive tasks. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are better tools for that. If you have been using one of these spreadsheet editors, then worry not: WP Table Manager has got you covered yet again.
You can use the WordPress plugin to import your Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets spreadsheets into WordPress as editable tables. In addition to importing the data, you can import the spreadsheet’s style at the same time.
Speaking of collaboration, you do not have to repeat the process every time you update your spreadsheet. Whether the spreadsheet is stored on your server or on Google’s, you can set up the plugin to automatically synchronize your tables by fetching updates straight into your WordPress blog.
The reverse is also possible. If you want to edit your data using Microsoft Office, Google Sheets, or LibreOffice, all you have to do is export tables as .XLSX files. The same concepts apply: the tables retain their data and formatting.
Do you still think that managing tables in WordPress is difficult? Maybe that is the case in Vanilla WordPress, but it does not have to be that way. With WP Table Manager, you get your own mini-spreadsheet editor and table manager, accessible right from the comfort of your WordPress blog. Combine it with its compatibility with Microsoft Office and Google Sheets, and you have the ideal solution for your table editing woes.