Merging cells in tables (macOS)

As far as I can tell, I can’t merge cells in a column in tables - I found a post on the forum from 2016 blaming the poor table support on TextEdit by one who lamented being the one and only macOS developer - is that still the case in 2022 or am I missing a suite of formatting tools for tables?

Scrivener still uses TextKit made by Apple, and thus has the features available to it by that API. EDIT: see AmberV’s post for how to do it natively.

To improve tables, @KB posted recently he had partly developed a new table system based on what Nisus can do:

But because of Textkit2 put this on hold, no idea how long or what the timetable will be.

Now, while not native to Scrivener’s editor, if you were to compile via markdown, then you could also access header and footers, rowspan, colspan and some other features:

  • For Pandoc and probably plain MMD, you can pass through either HTML (lots of table features) or LaTeX (some table features) code directly.
  • The next version of Pandoc will also enable plain text grid table rowspan and cellspan merging, and this should be compatible with multiple output formats:
    | Property            | Earth    |
    |             | min   | -89.2 °C |
    | Temperature +-------+----------+
    | 1961-1990   | mean  | 14 °C    |
    |             +-------+----------+
    |             | min   | 56.7 °C  |

  • For Quarto + Pandoc, you can also use the very powerful tools for table creation present in Python or R. R in particular can make really beautiful tables, but this would require some learning of the syntax and aptitude with code. But this does allow you to write in Scrivener, editing very complex tables and compile to multiple formats.

Thank you - I was just beginning to think about using markdown tables, so your answer is both very helpful and timely. I had no idea I could use R within Scrivener - that is a real eye opener.

I am still not fully adjusted in my thinking within Scrivener - I still think in terms of a binder around a word processor, but increasingly I have to think in terms of writing instructions to pre-compilers to produce desired output.

It means splitting myself up - sometimes writer, sometimes designer, sometimes techy etc…

I’m not enamoured with this approach

While I myself would be taking the Markdown approach as well, it’s worth noting that Scrivener (or as noted, the text engine) does support cell merging. You have to use the floating palette, so right-click in a table and use the Table ▸ Table... contextual menu command.

  • Horizontal merging is straight-forward: just select any amount of text from the adjacent cells you want to merge into one.
  • Vertical merging is a bit more awkward because selection is more text biased than cell biased. You’ll see what I mean if you try to select a column. To do that, you need to hold down the Option key when clicking and dragging, which invokes the text engine’s “box selection” mode.

With a valid multi-cell text selection made, the “Merge Cells” button will light up in the palette.

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It doesn’t appear to be working - it maybe because I am working in a nested table? (I mean I am working in a nested table - the query is about that being the cause of the failure - the other being the user :slight_smile:

That should still be working—so long as you aren’t trying to merge across table boundaries, sorry if I missed that as what you’re trying to do:

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Hey, brilliant - thanks

  • I had to enter some text into the cells then merge one pair at a time.