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Help: How do I stop automatic resizing of table columns?

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Much to my surprise, I recently became a paying Evernote user. When I first encountered the software, I didn't really understand the appeal. With the recent integration between Evernote and Skitch, the program has become an integral part of my workflow. I am a serious fan.

However, there is one thing that drives me crazy: the automatically reformatting tables. I'm a college professor, and I regularly use tables to organize and categorize my thoughts in progress. Evernote makes it far too difficult to do this.

The problem is not the lack of fancy formatting options. I'm perfectly capable of exporting a table from Evernote into a word processor if I want to apply a design layer. The problem is the way the column widths continually resize as I enter data. It makes it very difficult to use this as an efficient tool for organizing my thoughts because the data keeps shifting. It is a serious usability issue.

As a former web developer, I fully understand how difficult it can be to implement fully functional and usable tables in a platform-independent way. However, I wonder if there might be an easy way that we could at least hardwire the widths of the table columns -- whether in percentages or pixels -- so that the text would stop shifting.

I guess this is the part of the message where I'm supposed to threaten to cancel my Evernote subscription if the tables aren't fixed. Truth is -- much to my surprise -- I'm hooked. Still, it would make life soooo much easier if the developers could fix this one little thing.



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Hi - welcome to the Forums. It's always good to see someone threaten to Take Their Business Away, apparently under the impression that the loss of one subscription in several million is sufficient to motivate the developers to drop any plans they might have had for the rest of the year and get behind one problem immediately; but it's so much more helpful and constructive to suggest a feature.


There have been several comments hereabouts as to the limited functionality of the note editor in general and the tables layout in particular - Evernote don't (they have said) plan to re-invent word processing software but I think there have been hints that some improvements are due. Perhaps if you retitle your post as a REQUEST: to catch the developers' collective eye it might jump up the list a little...

EDIT: Oh - and you might consider using another app to generate the tables and just cut paste the output into your note. If you attach the other file too you can open it to edit and save changes back to the note as well as cut/ pasting the new version into the body for easy reference on multiple clients..

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  • 1 year later...

The weak support for tables is also driving me crazy. The suggestion to build your table in an outside application and copy and paste the output and dump the file in there is a decent enough work around. I think the issue with the bad editor on EN has to do with the fact that it's basically a web page that uses ancient web technology under the hood. To overcome this Evernote would have to actually write an editor, which is nearly impossible and will likely never happen given the complexity of doing so on all of the platforms involved. As long as your product is tied to underlying webkit, which is what I suspect, then you get what you get. The only way you could do better is to pour a lot into development, but the task seems nearly impossible from what I can tell. It's hard enough to write an editor on one platform and do it well. The only hope is that the web engine underlying gets better support. Perhaps EN could invest in the development of the underlying web engine to add the needed features. That's probably the best way to go about it. But I'm speculating.

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Aaron, it's a jury rig but it works - have you tried inserting a bunch of dashes "----------------" in each column across one of the rows?  Adjust the number of dashes to make the columns the width you want, using more dashes than you would ever use text, this way as you type text into them the column widths will not change.  This will essentially "lock" the width of the columns.


Edit: I just noticed the OP was posting from 2012.  Nevertheless, maybe it will help someone else who finds this thread.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 years later...

This is an old post, looks like the tables still keep resizing.

Lol - that Aaron guy makes a note that he is a professor, and he "is perfectly capable of exporting a table from Evernote into a word processor" - great work, so is any 3 year old.

I wonder if he realises that nobody cares about the above 2 facts - in the slightest.

Good work evernote team on all the other fantastic features I use - you do get a chance, static columns would be cool.



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