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Automatically converting text into tables

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When I take notes, I frequently dump text into a note and then figure out what I want to do that later. Frequently, I want to convert it to a table or structure into a form. Is there any way to enable this transformation automatically or is the only option manually selecting, cutting and pasting?

Another alternative that would be okay for me is to extract the data that I want put into a table, run it through a program that generates markup codes so when the data is pasted back into Evernote, it displays a table

I would also need the reverse which is to be able to extract plaintext from a table with some sort of markup between the table entries.

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1 minute ago, alsoeric said:

Frequently, I want to convert it to a table or structure into a form. Is there any way to enable this transformation automatically or is the only option manually selecting, cutting and pasting?

I would also find it useful but I don't think there is a way of doing it in EN. I tend to paste the text into Word or Excel and use the facilities they have to convert into a table. I then paste it back into EN where it appears as a table.

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  • Level 5

Excel will only import it into a neat table when it is structured in a way it can understand. Same structure to set column width or delimiters when coming with a variable data set length is required.

From how I understand it, it is good old copy & paste, either directly in EN or in another app. What may help doing it in EN is to use a desktop app, open the different source notes all in their own window, same for the target note. It is then easier to pick up drops of information and pour them into the lake.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@PinkElephant thanks for the thoughts/info.

I was thinking about the problem and I think that a filter model would be useful. For example, you select a region of a document and waving a magic wand, send that selected region to a an external program/plug-in which does some magic to the text and then returns the results which are inserted back into Evernote. 

Doing this would require a plug-in/external callout framework and documentation on the internal text notation of Evernote. So probably not going to happen.

I really like Evernote I'm probably not going to ditch it but the organizational framework, especially with temples, is too static. On the other hand, notion takes it too far in the wrong direction. The other downside of this dynamic notetaking environment is that it opens holes for so many security problems. Look what happened to Microsoft Word and Excel macros.

Flexible, fast, secure. Pick one

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Just gave an idea a try: What happens if I copy from a spreadsheet ?

Result: When I copy a range of table cells from a Numbers spreadsheet (I don't use Excel) on iOS, it just inserts the text, with some spaces in between.

If I do the same on my Mac, the result is different: It then pastes the table into table cells. The content mimics the original content, even some formatting is carried over, like the number of digits or symbols like the currency. It will only paste content - no formulas, but the result of a formula as it shows in the original numbers table.

When a table is on the clipboard, you do not even need to create a table in the note first - it detects the content has table format, and creates the table when inserting. To insert the content only, without a table it is necessary to use the "Paste and merge format" option.

I think this will work similarly when copying from Excel. It does when I try using LibreOffice.

So there is an obvious workaround: Import the data into a spreadsheet on a PC or Mac, using the programs ability to break down data into table cells. Then select the table created by the import, copy it and paste it into the EN note.


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  • 7 months later...

Windows: If you have a simple list, line by line, you can copy it and paste it into Excel.  Just select a single cell in Excel and then paste.  Each line of the list will be in its own row-cell.

You can then immediately copy the cells, and, indeed, paste them into Evernote and you will get a table automatically.

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