[pmwiki-users] ExcelPaste (Was: Tabular thought -- simplify conversion between markup styles of tables)

Christian Ridderström christian.ridderstrom at gmail.com
Tue Aug 26 02:00:52 CDT 2008

On Tue, 26 Aug 2008, kirpi at kirpi.it wrote:

>> I don't think anyone has written a recipe for converting an actual
>> spreadsheet file to HTML within PmWiki
> Quite right.
> Yet, just to remember as we are on the theme, the Cookbook/ExcelPaste
> recipe works (almost) flawlessy in most cases.

I think it's really good that ExcelPaste exist and I did test it 
relatively quickly. The recipe did not match my requirements for some of 
the following reasons (intended as positive feedback!):

* Replacing a previously pasted table.

   I could not see an easy way to replace a previously pasted table with a
   new table from Excel. The only way I could see would be as follows:
 	1) open the page for editing;
 	2) manually delete the part corresponding to the table;
 	3) paste again.
   This felt a bit too error prone for my liking.

   Maybe there is a better solution to replace/"paste over" an existing
   table. Perhaps something corresponding to SectionEdit that allows you to
   only edit the parts of the wiki markup corresponding to the table.

* Choice of markup for the resulting table and use with TableEdit.

   The generated table uses ||... || rather than (:table:)..(:tableend:).
   This means TableEdit won't work on the wiki markup, and with the
   clutter on my screen I found it impractical to edit the table manually.
   It also means you're not able to do some advanced table formatting.

   Being able to convert to (:table:)..(:tableend:), or if TableEdit could
   work on ||...|| would help a lot here.

* Line breaks in cells, probably a bug.

   PasteExcel did not honour line breaks inside a cell. OTOH, this only
   works when exporting to HTML from MS Office (not from OpenOffice).
   I did use the patched version of the recipe, so I thought it'd work
   but it didn't for me at least.

And finally something that's inherent in the solution and not really a 
flaw in the recipe:

* The result is a table rather than a spreadsheet.

   Sometimes you really want to be able to update the spreadsheet, which
   means I need to keep the original spreadsheet file. In which case I
   prefer an automated way to export the "table" from the spreadsheet into
   the wiki. Embedding HTML that's been exported from the spreadsheet
   is one way to do this.

BTW, I think 'ExcelPaste' should be renamed to 'SpreadsheetPaste' as it 
works with more than just MS Office.


Christian Ridderström, +46-8-768 39 44            http://www.md.kth.se/~chr

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