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Subject: RE: [office] spreadsheet table:cell/table:table was: Re: [office] OpenDocument TC coordination call minutes 2007-08-13

My first reaction to tables within cells was that it was conceptually
interesting but not supported in products with which I was familiar.

But then I started seeing things about Apple's new spreadsheet,
"Numbers": I think, at first glance, that it may come close to doing
something like tables in cells. At least Numbers makes optional the kind
of numbered rows and lettered collums system that's been in every
spreadsheet I've used since Supercalc on an Osborne. All of the
spreadsheets I've seen in the past looked like one big table, though you
could stake out claims to portions of it. Instead, Numbers gives you a
blank page, and you can go build multiple independent tables in areas of
your choice. And you can give each its own coordinate space, with rows
and columns identified by names of your choice or by traditional
coordinates (http://www.apple.com/iwork/numbers/#tables).  

Jim Mason

From MacCentral:

A new approach to spreadsheets

Traditionally, spreadsheet programs have presented users with a
full-screen grid of rows and columns. Numbers, however, is more like a
page layout program-you start with a blank canvas, into which you can
drag as many tables as you need onto the work area. Each table is a
miniature spreadsheet of its own, complete with its own grid of rows and
columns, cell formatting options, and row and column heights and widths.
There are even handy styles, shown in the left-hand of the document
window, that can be applied to any of your inserted tables. These tables
are treated like separate objects, and they can be positioned anywhere
on the page.

This free-form layout feature overcomes one of the big problems with
traditional spreadsheet programs: it's difficult to make all of the rows
and columns look attractive when printed (wide cells in one column will
throw off rows above and below, for example). Since each table in
Numbers is an independent object, setting differing heights and widths
for rows and columns has no impact on other tables, and you can easily
align tables wherever you want them on the page.


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