This is the 4th in a series of tutorials designed to help you get the very most out of Windows Live Writer in your blogging.
Today’s topic definitely doesn’t sound glamorous: how to use and format tables. Oh, you are thinking, why would I want to use a table in my blog post? Tables are ugly! I’m going to show you how a few quick and easy steps can fix a layout headache and create a clean, professional look---your readers won’t even notice that you’re using tables at all.
Previous Live Writer tutorials:
Let’s add a table.
Look at the tabs at the very top of your Live Writer toolbar a minute.
There are lots of other neat things on this toolbar that you may not have used, yet, but let’s stick with tables for today.
Go ahead and click on “Table,” and this window will pop up.
You may choose the number of rows, columns and overall width of the table. You can also choose the “appearance.”
Now here’s a tip, if you check the box next to “Show table border,” the table itself will be visible (you can also set the number of pixels wide the lines are). A 2 row, 2 column table would look like this:
But if you uncheck that little box, your readers will only see the content of the table, so your table will go from this:
I’ll note that you can always see the table while in the “edit” tab of LiveWriter, it appears as a faint line, like this:
I think you can already see how using a table can be valuable---it makes it easy to create columns of information without fooling around with crazy formatting to get it all lined up.
How to Format a Table in Live Writer
While in the editing tab, if you click on a table you’ve inserted, a new “Layout” tab will appear at the top.
These are all options for editing your table. You can insert or delete rows or columns. You can also move content from one cell to another.
The “Customize table” button allows you to edit the tables’ properties.
“Customize table” will open up the same table window you had before where you can change the number of columns and rows, whether the table is visible, etc.
The other options allow you to customize columns, rows, and cells. Psst…I’m using a table to organize these pics.
In addition, you can also change the horizontal alignment of individual cells or even the whole table by simply highlighting and choosing the appropriate alignment on the home toolbar.
You can use this method to center the entire table horizontally in the post, as well.
And if you right-click on a cell, you’ll also get a list of self-explanatory options.
Tables aren’t just for lists!
You can use them to create charts, organize blocks of text, and organize pictures.
In fact, a table would be a great way, to compare the features of different products in a comparison review (wish I’d figured that out for my review of washable dry-erase markers).
But what I primarily use it for is creating photo “collages” that aren’t really collages.
I know that many bloggers will create a collage when they are using lots and lots of photos in a post. One of the disadvantages of that is that you can’t click on individual photos to see them close up. I’m a visual person. I love big pictures. I need big pictures. Tables solve that issue.
This is part of a table I created for a review post earlier this week where I was showing how two of my kids used the same product differently:
I figure this is the best of both worlds, I can create a “collage” that takes up less space and organize the photos so you can see them side-by-side, but a reader can still click on each pic to see it close up.
Before I figured out tables, it was a pain in the neck to group pictures like this. I spent a ton of time formatting the margins around each one to get them to line up just right, and then somehow one of them would always get messed up. And then. Then I wanted to add captions. Another headache.
This is super easy to do with tables.
Create a Photo “Collage” in Live Writer with Tables
4 Basic Steps:
- Create your table.
- Click in each cell, and insert a picture.
If you don’t change the settings in your table, the cells will automatically size themselves to fit the pictures.
- Tweak a little. My original table was overrunning my sidebar and the gaps were not pleasing to the eye. Here I resized the portrait oriented photos to be the same height as the landscape photos which decreased the overall width and closed the gaps.
- Insert extra cells to add captions. Just click on a row, go to the “Layout” tab and choose “insert below” (or above).
the whole goofy crew
Daddy & Mary
Give tables a try and let me know what you think.
What ??? should my next Windows Live Writer tutorial answer?