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Derek Read

Reply to: Validating CALS tables

If an author uses the XMetaL Author Enterprise UI provided for working with tables then these issues should not generally be a problem. Perhaps that is what we should recommend here.

In other words, if the user has a document open in Tags On or Normal view, where CALS tables are rendered visually as a table (or HTML or some custom table type), they can use various table editing features to split and merge cells and avoid all the complications of possibly inserting extra elements or incorrect attribute values.

On the Table menu we provide a “merge cells” dialog that lets you merge left/right/up/down and that automatically handles the setting of the various attributes for CALS tables (morerows, namest, nameend). The Table toolbar provides similar functions: “Merge Cell Right”, “Merge Cell Left”, “Merge Cell Up”, “Merge Cell Down”, “Split Cell into Rows” and “Split Cell into Columns” (together with many others that allow you to add rows/columns, and move rows and columns up/down/left/right).

Of course, it is always possible to create messy table structures that are invalid or that violate some rules if you are working with raw XML or directly with tags and attributes. That is why XMetaL Author provides a large number of UI features for table editing (see attached images). Perhaps if you have issues with tables being created that have problems it would be best to deal with those issues directly in the tool that is helping create those issues? Perhaps there are similar features or a method of dealing with them.