Smart web tables

Table Tools, a Firefox extension developed by Mingyi Liu adds useful functionality for table manipulation. The short story: it lets you sort, filter and export web page tables with a few clicks.

By default, press Ctrl + Alt and click on any column to sort the table ascendingly. Repeat and it is in descendent order now. Table Tools automatically detects the column data type (text, number, date) and sorts accordingly. If it fails to properly identify a column you can set it manually by right clicking anywhere in the column and selecting the correct data type. For filtering, Shift + Alt + click and you get filters populated with the different values of each column, so just have to select.

Finally, right click anywhere on the table and you can copy the contents of the table as HTML code or tab delimited data which is perfect for copying it into a spreadsheet such as Excel or Calc.

Table Tools in action

And it is in no way short of options: you can set the export shortcuts, ask it to preserve each row’s style, show benchmarks for sorting, limit the sorting range, whether it should sort ascendingly or descendingly on first click, whether to use regular expressions, to allow JavaScript to alter the table while working with it, set the default date format and some others.

It may not work at all when working with nested tables as I found during my tests and noted by the author himself. Options could be trimmed down and better organized. Also a small overlay like It’s All Text adds could improve discoverability.

It’s already proved to be an aid organizing my blog posts and you may want to try it as well at Mozilla Add-ons.

Score: Usefulness: 4/5 -  Usability: 4/5 -Features: 5/5

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