[Tex/LaTex] Editing *existing* multipage TeX tables in a spreadsheet-like interface


Is there any GUI/interface/package that will enable me to edit existing data in columns of my super-complicated multipage TeX table?

Currently, I count the "&"s to get to the correct column and then edit it. It becomes painful very fast with a ton of columns to edit. Am I missing some obvious trick that pro-TeX-table-makers know of to edit tables?

I am using TeXlive on Fedora 15. My frontend TeX editor is primarily TeXStudio (formerly, TeXmakerX).

I played with the datatool package for a few days. It's notoriously difficult to make it behave with the longtable package. Formats are ripped out. Multicolumn spanning text/strings are sometimes not handled properly. I ended up making a tex file with a tailored header for each of my 27 X 3 tables and cutting and pasting the output of a csv to latex perl tool into the tailored tex files again and again… sigh Maybe there are ways to make the datatool package play well with the longtable package but they are not very clear to the new user.

Best Answer

If you use emacs, you can use the super-slick feature align-current.

If you're inside a tabular environment, it will add space to vertically align the &s.

There is more information about this feature here. align-current plus emacs' ability to kill (cut) blocks ā€” ie. rectangles ā€” of text, you can do most of the manipulations you'd want to. (See here)

All this aside, datatool is probably the better tool for bigger tables.

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