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Re: Re: undocumented feature: TableView

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg103871] Re: [mg103843] Re: undocumented feature: TableView
  • From: Murray Eisenberg <murray at>
  • Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 07:08:10 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Mathematics & Statistics, Univ. of Mass./Amherst
  • References: <hakjjr$d4v$> <>
  • Reply-to: murray at

TableView does allow a nice display of tabular data. And right-clicking 
rows or columns provides useful possibilities.

Perhaps a more interesting question is how the display functionality 
might be extended (unless already there!) so that one can retrieve the 
table currently displayed in the TableView output.  Of course it's 
unclear how this could/should be done: the result of TableView is 
already the table you see

Right now, of course, one can use the menu item Insert > Table/Matrix to 
input tabular data, but I've always found using that a bit clunky: 
unless you start in the top left placeholder and carefully tab from each 
placeholder to the next, it's too easy to find the cursor outside any 

With TableView, it's really easy to just click anywhere within one of 
the spreadsheet-like cells and type, delete, etc.

Moreover, if the added functionality were there, then TableView would be 
a really nice way to gather tabular input interactively, with minimal 
programming compared with what would now be required.

Right now, one can almost get the functionality with TableView that I'd 
like, but it's awkward. For example, suppose first you evaluate:

   TableView[Table[0, {3}, {2}]]

Then you go ahead and change some of the entries so that you see in the 
display, e.g.:

   2      -5
   hello  1+1
   2/3    Plot[x^2,{x,0,1}]

The new values are not yet assigned to anything.  But the changed table 
is a result -- still in an output cell -- and the content of an output 
cell can be used as input:

   data = List@@First[%];
   data // InputForm
{{2, "-5"}, {"hello", "1+1"}, {"2/3", "2+3I"}}
    ToExpression[data]  (* evaluates the cell contents *)

Perhaps there's some way, using Dynamic, that one does not need to do 
things as I've just shown, so that TableView could in fact be used for 
interactive data input, under program control.

Let's hope that WRI brings TableView into more public view and enhances 
it in future releases.

David Reiss wrote:
> By the way, it is pretty easy to drill down in something like this to
> fine new undocumented functions in interesting Contexts by using the
> trick in my previous post as well as simple things like
> Names["TableView `*"]
> It seems like TableView is in a somewhat advanced state of
> development.  And one could use it to create a pretty sophisticated
> spreadsheet application with multiple sheets and so on.  With a parser
> for Excel functions one could import Excel sheets with their
> associated functionality...  (now, do I have time to do this?  No,
> but...)
> Here is an example of TableView's use for multiple sheets...
> TabView[{40 ->
>    TableView[40 IdentityMatrix[40], ContentSize -> {400, 300}],
>   20 -> TableView[20 IdentityMatrix[20], ContentSize -> {400, 300}],
>   10 -> TableView[10 IdentityMatrix[10], ContentSize -> {400, 300}]}]
>  Oct 8, 7:49 am, Guido Tripaldi <gu... at> wrote:
>> Hello,
>> today I typed by accident "TableView" instead of "TableForm" writing a =
>> notebook, so I discovered a function apparently not documented in  
>> Mathematica 7 / Mac version. "TableView" displays a list in a  
>> spreadsheet-like format.  I tried to search the DocumentationCenter  
>> without finding any information, neither Google nor Wolfram search  
>> engine gave better results. The only documentation I found was using  
>> the "Information -  (??)" command. It show the options that TableView =
>> accepts.
>> It appears to be very useful, as it introduces a more flexible way to  
>> observing the data. There are infact some data editing features  
>> accessible through a popup menu (a "+" icon on the top left of the  
>> view) and others ctrl-clicking the view (ctrl-click on Mac; right-
>> click on Windows).
>> Perhaps it is a new feature being finalized that will be included in  
>> next version. Someone maybe knows something more about this function?
>> In[1]:=  mylist = Table[ Subscript[a, i, j], {i, 5}, {j, 3}  ] =
>> (*   a little matrix   *)
>> In[2]:=  mylist // TableView     (*   show it as a small spread=
> sheet    
>> *)
>> In[3]:=  ?? TableView
>>     System`TableView
>>     Attributes[TableView] = {Protected, ReadProtected}
>>     Options[TableView] := {Background -> None, BaseStyle -> {},
>>        DefaultBaseStyle -> "TableView", DefaultLabelStyle ->  
>> "TableViewLabel",
>>        FrameStyle -> GrayLevel[0.85], ContentSize -> Automatic, =
>> ItemSize -> 10,
>>        LabelStyle -> {}, RotateLabel -> False, Spacings -> Automa=
> tic,
>>        TableHeadings -> {Automatic, Automatic}}
>> Guido

Murray Eisenberg                     murray at
Mathematics & Statistics Dept.
Lederle Graduate Research Tower      phone 413 549-1020 (H)
University of Massachusetts                413 545-2859 (W)
710 North Pleasant Street            fax   413 545-1801
Amherst, MA 01003-9305

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