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Re: [AUCTeX] Some hints for editing tables

From: Joost Kremers
Subject: Re: [AUCTeX] Some hints for editing tables
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 2015 23:21:29 +0100

> Op 15 nov. 2015 om 18:55 heeft Mosè Giordano <address@hidden> het volgende 
> geschreven:
> Dear all,
> as you all know, editing tables in LaTeX can be quite tedious.
> Luckily in AUCTeX we got a couple of nice features, auto insertion of
> the appropriate &s and a good indentation function in tabular-like
> environments, but there is still much room for improvements.[1]

> Note
> [1]  Suggestions welcome.

Well, IMHO this is one area where Emacs shines, but you need a bit more than 
just AUCTeX. Using orgmode and preview-latex, there is a solution that is 
better than anything I've ever seen. This is what I do:

- include in the preamble of my documents the following snippet:


- customise `orgtbl-radio-table-templates`, so that the LaTeX table is inside 
an orgtbl environment.

- customise `LaTeX-comment-env-list` and `LaTeX-verbatim-environments` to 
include `orgtbl`.

- customise `TeX-fold-env-list` to fold the orgtbl environment to "[orgtbl]". 
(Actually, there's no need to set up a special comment environment. I do it so 
I can easily distinguish between folded comments and folded org tables.)

- activate `orgtbl-mode` in my LaTeX buffer.

- issue the command `M-x orgtbl-insert-radio-table` where I want my table to 
be. This inserts an org-mode table template inside an orgtbl environment, plus 
a receiving location for the LaTeX table right above it.

- edit my table with the full orgmode table editor right inside my LaTeX buffer.

- press C-c C-c when I'm done with the table. This converts the table to LaTeX 
format and puts the result in the LaTeX buffer at the specified location.

- press C-c C-o C-b to fold the orgtbl environment.

- move the cursor to the LaTeX table and press C-c C-p C-p to preview the table.

The results? This:

PNG image

allows me to edit the table comfortably (moving from cell to cell with TAB, 
automatic realignment of columns, quick insertion/deletion of rows and columns 
with C-M-<cursor_key>, etc.) and eventually turns into this:

PNG image

(Yes, in case you noticed, I do indeed use a proportional font in my LaTeX 

I think that calls for a big Woohoo! and a big Hail Ye! to all the Emacs 
priests who help make this possible (which IMO includes the AUCTeX team). Oh, 
and stop staring at the people quietly slipping out the back door. They're just 
vi users sneeking to their computers to see whether evil-mode works with AUCTeX.

Ok, I'm going a bit overboard there, but I really think the whole thing is 
truly amazing and it deserves a mention in a thread entitled "Some hints for 
editing tables". Even if it's not entirely what you were after when you said 
suggestions were welcome...

Joost Kremers
Life has its moments

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