The table function is flaky, to say the least.
The following is what I would call bugs (and a way around it):
If you create a table, type in text, and would like to copy and paste that text to other cells, the whole table-structure gets messed up. If I have a 3x3 table, type something into cell 1, copy the text, and click inside cell 4, and then paste, Scrivener inserts a row instead of pasting into the cell. But if I type something first, it pastes as expected without the structure messes up.
If I try to undo the paste (because it messed up), the table getâ€™s even more messed up, as the text changes, but the cells donâ€™t. Yes, the change in the text get undone, but not the unwanted change to the table structure.
Also, it is impossible (at least to my knowledge) to create a table from tabâ€™ed text.
I don’t think you can blame Scrivener for that. Both the Tables and Lists features of Apple’s Cocoa text editor are a shameful mess. I avoid using them altogether. IMO, if you want tables you can actually use and edit, you’ll have to go the (shudder) MS Word route.
Tables are nothing to do with Scrivener, as Eiron has already pointed out - they are part of the Cocoa text system. They were introduced with Tiger, and they are FAR from perfect. We can only hope that they improve with Leopard…
I don’t think this does explain the table problem, certainly not entirely. CircusPonies Notebook, Devonthink and TextEdit rely on the same system based table resource with none of the problems of Scrivener in terms of disappearing cells and failure to paste text (there are some other, less severe, problems with tables in CP Notebook and possibly the others as well).
Things are complicated in Scrivener by the fact that it uses a custom copy-and-paste format in order to maintain annotations and footnotes between copying and pasting, but placing tables correctly on the pasteboard is not something that has been disclosed by Apple. The current implementation is the best possible with these limitations - and I had the advice of an Apple text engineer in this, too.
Keith, thanks for the clear and prompt response. alexwein, we might be talking about slightly different issues. When I have text and wish to drag and drop into tables in the other applications mentioned, or copy and paste to cells (as the first post described), cells do not usually disappear. Playing with this just then I found I could replicate the disappearing cells phenomenon on occasions in those programs also if I was a) dragging from cell to cell and b) using double-clicking to select text, where the selection will extend beyond the range of the text. If I select the text carefully through click and hold then I get no issues.
The workaround in Scrivener, as the first poster described, is to have at least some text the cell first before you paste, one letter will do.