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bhut

mac (Archived) REQUEST: More table options

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In hopes that this thread gets to a developer i would like to contribute the following:

I work in the marketing department for a very large corporation. I found this app on my own for note taking. Evernote is an absolutely amazingly efficient program which i am very happy i discovered. It is great for note taking and does what it should do an more in that aspect.

However,

I am part of a multi-member team at work. We would like to share files, in particular planners. The table construction option is evernote is the ONLY thing deterring us from purchasing the paid version. The way the tables autoformat and shift is far from user friendly. It makes it next to impossible to keep efficient, organized planners. I am very dissapointed with the table building aspect and i believe that your company could really utilize this to create partnerships with large corporations. Every business uses tables and excel and because it is so frustrating and glitchy with making tables, you will not get the business you want.

Thank you for listening and i hope to see and update to this issue!

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I would guess that while Evernote has improving table functionality on their list, they may not share your desperation. In other words, don't expect results any time soon; you'll need to work with what they have now...

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While I don't need for Evernote to have all the features of Excel, or even of Word Tables, I agree it would be highly beneficial if Evernote provided just a few more of the most basic Table formatting features:

  • Option for Table to autofit contents (normal HTML behavior) instead of specifying a fixed % or pixels
  • Cell background fill
  • Line width
  • Column Width
  • etc

What Table features do you need the most?

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Welcome to the forums, bhut.

While you're hardly alone in wishing for more table formatting options, I'm afraid the arguments you used in your first post—that Evernote is missing a critical market, that it can "utilize this to create partnerships with large corporations"—will fall on deaf ears. If you search the forums or Google "evernote enterprise," you'll find a long record of Evernote CEO Phil Libin saying the company has no interest in tailoring its product to businesses. Evernote is, and Libin has said many times that it will continue to be, a tool for individuals. Thus, it may or may not be used to great effect in corporate environments. You've discovered, as a lot of us have, ways it is great for professional work, and ways it falls very short of what we wish it could do for us.

Personally, I've given up on this issue. I'd love full spreadsheet functionality, but having read enough here in the forums, I now know that that's never happening. Last week I made my last table in Evernote. I started, tried to organize some data, and realized it was a big mess that I couldn't even copy to Excel, since none of the cells are preserved in C&P.

Evernote could, of course, decide in the future that it wants to start attracting hordes of corporate customers. But for now, if you want better table formatting options, or any new or improved feature, you're best off sharing exactly which feature(s) you hope to see and what use case(s) new/modified features would help you with. As I said, I don't think the business argument will get far.

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While you're hardly alone in wishing for more table formatting options, I'm afraid the arguments you used in your first post—that Evernote is missing a critical market, that it can "utilize this to create partnerships with large corporations"—will fall on deaf ears.

Irrespective of the "business argument", there is a wide-spread need for better Table features.

Most of us don't need anything near a full set of Excel features.

I suspect that we need less than 1/10 of Excel features.

If you need full Excel features, you can always attach an Excel file.

But a lot of people (business and non-business) need Tables in Evernote to help us better organize and format data.

I think there are many, many non-business use cases for better Table formatting.

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tables are a real pain, especially across platforms, and many applications have a tough time with them. even word can be a struggle. i certainly recognize rhere is a demand for them, but i suspect it will take a long time before we see any major changes.

of course, i don't have any inside knowledge or anything. it never hurts to ask and make a case for it!

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tables are a real pain, especially across platforms, and many applications have a tough time with them. even word can be a struggle.

GM, beg to differ with you about Tables.

Cross platform tables have been available for more than 20 years.

It called HTML.

I routinely create tables in Word, copy/paste to EN Mac, and view perfectly on EN iPhone and EN iPad.

I have done the same thing with EN Win.

Evernote already supports HTML based tables on all EN platforms.

All we are asking for is a few more features to better format these tables.

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i am well aware of html tables. coded my first website with lots and lots of them. i also know that very few apps or sites i have used go beyond the basics and still get them right, especially across platforms.

a lot of things look easy (plain text, fonts, note links, etc.) but (as you know) they don't exist on ios (for example). plain text doesn't exist anywhere in evernote. i am simply saying that it may take a while to get whatever functionality it is that the op wants.

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@GM: Actually you are missing the point:

There is NO debate -- Evernote has already implemented Tables on all EN clients.

Adding Table formatting features is no more difficult than formatting text features (like Bold, Underline, Italic, etc) that Evernote has already done.

If you don't need or want Tables that is fine.

You have also stated that you don't want rich text.

But there are many, many Evernote users that want both.

I disagree that technical difficulty is a major issue with adding a few Table formatting features.

It is mostly a matter of setting a few HTML tags for the table.

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i don't know how you got out of my posts in this thread that i don't think tables exist in en or that all i want is plain text.

to clarify: i know they exist. i have used them. i also want en to have rich text. i want the option to have plain text. but, these are not relevant to this thread.

i am merely speculating about why things are the way they are now, and suggesting there is a reason why something that looks simple to implement might not be.

maybe you are right that table improvements are easy and right around the corner. then, everyone will be happy.

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The amount of time it takes for these simple features to be added will probably be driven much more by what Evernote wants to do (irrespective of their customer's requests) than it will on the difficulty of implementation.

I'm not saying that it is super easy, but it is not on the same level as, say, encryption of all Notes in a Notebook.

The hard part of implementing tables has already been done. These are just the finishing touches. ;)

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Dear all,

I wouldn't call my contribution an "argument". It was a suggestion, request, and personal recommendation, which yes, is biased as i work in a coporate setting every day. As you can see i am very new to evernote and am learning about the program.

And as Peter mentioned, large corporations are not Evernote's target market.......too bad for me LOL. I will still continue to use it for my personal notes.

@JMichale

The main features i would like to see in the table options are:

- ability to sort

- ability to add multiple rows/column as opposed to adding one at a time

- ability to color code cells

- getting rid of the autoformat cells

Maybe these features do exist and i am doing something wrong.

I would also like to thank @JMichael for reminding me that i could attach excel files. Because of this, we may very well go ahead and purchase the full version. I believe you deserve some commision ;-)

Thanks again everyone, Regards.

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hi bhut. i think it is great that you are making suggestions for improvement. like i said, it never hurts to ask!

one cautionary point, though. evernote will not index the content of excel files for searches. if you want the content to be searchable, you'll want to convert the file into a pdf first.

also, evernote certainly will allow you to edit attachments, but remember that every time you make a change you'll have to upload the entire file again when you sync, and you have a limited upload allowance. this might not impact you at all if you have premium (1gb per month of uploads), but it is something to keep in mind. in my case (individual) i keep works in progress in dropbox and upon the completion of a project throw the file into evernote. when i think i might need to do something with the original file later, i put both the original file format and a pdf into the note.

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I, for one, have also commented about a few more customizable options for tables.

However, if nothing else gets implemented, I would simply suggest that the table borders be made a bit lighter in color, and a little thinner. Now, they are too thick, and the borders compete with the text in the cells, so it looks more cluttered, rather than organized.

I would think, that while we are using Evernote to collect everything, organization would at least trump clutter.

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I keep many Excel files stored in Evernote. This has worked well for me for the following reasons:

  1. Most of my Excel files are relatively small, less than 500KB.
  2. Most of my edits to these files are at the beginning, before being sync
  3. As a Premium User I have a 1 GB/mo upload limit
  4. As a result, I've never exceeded my limit
  5. I always add Tags and a brief summary (or keywords) to the Note text to facilitate searching

If you have a lot of very large (>> 1 MB) attachments then editing the attachment causing a re-upload of the entire file can be a cause for concern. But, I have found, that if the attachments are relatively small then it is not much of a concern.

I have also found that Tables setup in Word copy very nicely into Evernote, and display well on all EN clients.

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@JM - Do you store your Excel and Word files for viewing only or do you edit them as well? I'm looking for very basic functionality...nothing special...just a bit more than EN's tables. What really drives me nuts is the dynamic resizing of the cell as you enter data.

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@nova47:

Most of the Word and Excel files I attach to Evernote are mostly for viewing/reference later.

I do edit some of them occasionally.

As I said, if these files are relatively small I don't have any concerns about hitting my account upload limits.

I use Word mostly to create the Table, and then copy/paste the Table (not the file) from Word to Evernote.

In Word you can configure the Table however you like, to either autofit contents, or to have fixed width columns.

When you copy the Table to Evernote, the Table retains these attributes.

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I use Word mostly to create the Table, and then copy/paste the Table (not the file) from Word to Evernote.

In Word you can configure the Table however you like, to either autofit contents, or to have fixed width columns.

When you copy the Table to Evernote, the Table retains these attributes.

Big help thanks

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Being on the latest beta I like the ability to add rows and columns. I would agree with most of the suggestions above but here are my top 2 items - and I think they're simple to do:

  • Allow multiple row inserts at once (and, less so, multiple columns).
  • Assign shortcut keys to inserting rows and columns.

The former might require a simple dialog - with the number of whatevers to add. The latter should be incredibly simple. And neither of these affect the data model at all.

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My one request is to make cell data actually preserved as within cells, meaning the ability to cut or copy one cell's contents and paste them into other cells—as cells. Illustration:

Starting point (pre-Command+X)

Current behavior

Desired behavior

If this could also work when pasting into Evernote from Excel/Numbers, or into Excel/Numbers from Evernote, that would be awesome.

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Yes! Please! Better table options. Doesn't need to be Excel spectacular. There are many uses for spreadsheets, business and personal. I'd be happy just being able to resize columns and rows and having pale gray cell borders. I've tried importing some spreadsheets from another app (Personal Brain) just so the column width is correct. They look great, but I can't add or edit data on my mobile device!

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An option I would like to see in tables is them to actually be locked to the percent or pixels entered. In that way, they could be used as containers for images. As they exist now, regardless of how small I set the table, if I paste an image into a cell, it expands to the size of the image.

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PLEASE add basic tables to all Evernote implementations. I want to keep the basics of an order form for all of my suppliers on Evernote, so that as I see a need for something I can go to the note for that supplier, add to the table of items for the next order, and then go back to what I was doing.

Or keep simple inventories on line.

Nothing fancy required -- User defined # of rows & columns, and ability to add more of each as needed. And ability to adjust column widths. Embedded spreadhseets are overkill.

Thanks!

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Ability to sort!

I'm trying to make a simple glossary for a new job that has been throwing tons of acronyms and words that I can't always remember the first time I hear them.

Of course I'm not hearing the new terms in alphabetical order so my table is far from sorted like I would want it to be. Adding a simple sort A -> Z or Z -> A for a column would be great.

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  • Assign shortcut keys to inserting rows and columns.

I definitely would love to see a key combo for adding rows to a table. I don't care about excel-type features, just make it easier to edit tables (even just a hotkey for 'add row below' would be fine). The table editing feature is probably the biggest feature I miss about onenote and would love to see improved in evernote.

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Here are two more options to get an Excel table into Evernote:

First, copy the table in Excel

Then, switch to Word, open a new document and...

Option 1:

- Select EDIT/Paste Special and paste as picture

- Copy picture and paste this into Evernote

Option 2:

- Select EDIT/Paste Special and paste as HTML

- Copy HTML table and paste this into Evernote

In the first case, you will get to see your table exactly as you had in Excel (colors, spacing and all), but it is not editable

In the second case, the formatting is a bit off (e.g. line spacing), but you still get the colors and you can edit is you have to.

Not perfect, but could be useful in a pinch.

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Having more options for formatting tables would be very beneficial. Being able to drag and drop a row below or above another and resize the columns and rows are a few features that I know more then a few people would appreciate. I think having these basic features added would definitely push a few of my colleagues over from using OneNote to using Evernote more often.

Thanks!

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I have been finding table support one of the most thorny challenges in Evernote.

OneNote just added some very helpful table support in their OneNote Preview 2013... so I often find myself creating tables there or in Google Docs, and then linking to these from Evernote.

In particular, here's what I'm most hoping to be able to do with tables in Evernote:

  • Cut/paste/move rows and columns
  • Sort by column
  • More control over column width (even just by dragging)

Thanks for taking this into consideration! :)

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I also would like more options for tables (in addition to more control with outlines) for my own PERSONAL use.  I don't need the complexity of Excel, but I'd something more customizable to the data I'm trying to keep track.  

Maybe it's my ignorance, but I've found myself more than once after creating a table and filling it with data, needing to add another column.  No luck.  I've had to create an entirely new table.  

Sorting options would be really handy.  A simple alpha/numeric/ascending/descending option for each column to have could really make life with these table very useful.

It would be nice if there was a simple, compatible option to export/import to Excel without having to do anything special to make it work too, i.e. when importing an Excel file it would build a table with the data without any bells and whistles, and export into Excel in the basic form it was in Evernote. 

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I don't actually buy the "Evernote should keep it simple" argument: Keep the UI as most users see it clean. But that doesn't stop you hanging things off context menus etc. UI design, in general, does allow for sophisticated software.

 

I do, however, agree with @Wildcard that we don't need the sophistication of Excel but do need more function when it comes to managing tables: Right now the state of play means I only keep 1 table in Evernote: My expenses summarisation / payment tracking table. This use case is itself a bit of a pain because adding rows - part of the calisthenics for any trip - is a nuisance.

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Has anyone here found a mac/iphone notes app yet that has tables and the following features?:

 

-Tables with organizable rows
-iPhone app / cloud sync
-Search
-Folder Organization
-Separate note window opening
 

This seems like such a basic function! - just a TextEdit table with a couple of extra functions - THESE ARE NOT SPREADSHEETS OR ENTERPRIZE FEATURES.

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