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Element Tables Tab

If your publishing destination is Adobe InDesign, QuarkXPress, Web, or RTF (Microsoft Word, etc.) you can produce some spectacular tables. Each Element in your Paragraph will become a column in the table (although Elements can be grouped together into one column). On the Tables tab you specify various details such as the column heading, background colour, Element grouping, and so on:

Column Header

This is where you specify what the text in the header will be. It can be static text, an image, or the header can be drawn from another field. You can choose a different stylesheet for each column header.

Static Text

This defaults to the selected field name, but you can change it. If you don't want a header for this column, delete the static text.

Field data

Use data from another field. 

A picture

Place a picture in the header row. Not supported by all publishing destinations.

Style Sheet

The default style sheet is the one that has been specified in the Table Style. But you can choose a different style for any column.

Create an Xcatalog/InCatalog link for this header

Xcatalog and InCatalog are plugins for Adobe InDesign and QuarkXPress which facilitate data linking between the CatBase database and your publication. For more info, see the xCatalog and InCatalog information page.


In this section you specify how the width of the column will be determined, how it will be styled, and whether it must always be included.

Column width
Set width

The column will always be set in the width you specify. Enter the required width in your selected measurement type (inches, cm, etc.)


Multiple Elements can be grouped together into one column, and a different width can be set for each Element. In complex situations where there are a number of Elements that might or might not be included in the grouped column, depending on Rules you've set up, you might want to designate one as the defining width for the column. In that case, select the Persistent option for that column.

Calculated width

CatBase can work out how wide to make the column based on its contents and the parameters you specify. Enter the minimum and maximum number of characters for the column width, the font size, and the text inset (distance form the edge of the column to the text) and as each table is built, CatBase will look at the contents of all the rows in that column and figure out the best width.

Automatic Width

In the Paragraph Settings window for the Paragraph that contains the table, there are options for determining the sizing of the table:

Note the Set Table Width option. If this is selected, and a value entered into the Width field, CatBase will calculate the widths of the columns for each table so that its overall width is the same for every table. For example, different types of Parts might have different options. Wheels would have options such as Diameter; Batteries would have options such as Amps; and so on. So some Parts tables could have a few columns, whilst others could have more columns. To create a nice tidy layout, you can tell CatBase to make all the tables the same overall width.

In order for this to work properly, you need to:

  • Select the Set Table Width option for the Paragraph.

  • Enter the required table width.

  • For each Element that you want the width to be calculated, select the Automatic Width option.

  • If there's a column that you do not want to be automated, select the Set width option and enter the desired width for that column. For example, maybe the first column is the Part Number, and you want that column always to be the same width.

Style Sheet

Use the default stylesheet specified in the Table Style for this column's data, or select a different one. For example, you might want to choose a right-aligned style for the Price column.

Cell Fill colour

By default all table cells have no fill colour, but you can choose a cooler for any column.

Always include this column

As a default setting, CatBase will exclude any columns in which there is no data. If you want a column to be included, even if it's empty, select this option.


Optionally choose a field to publish in the Footer row for this column. In order for the Footer row to be included, it must be specified in the Table Style.


Normally, each Element within the Paragraph will constitute one column in the table. However, you might want to group Elements together into a column, and that's what this option is for.

  • Select the Group in one cell checkbox.

  • Enter a Group Number. All Elements that you want to group together must have the same Group Number.

Delete Ending Text

Enter some text that you want to delete from the end of the group. For example, you might have various options for a product, and you want to list those options in one table cell with a semi-colon between each one, maybe something like this:

Blue; Red; Green; Yellow

But you don't know which option will be the last one in the list for any particular product, so you could end up with something that looks like this:

Blue; Red; Green; Yellow;

So you would enter the text you don't want (a semi-colon and a space, in this example) into the Delete Ending Text field.

Change Text From: and Change Text To:

Like the Delete Ending text option, but this option enables you to replace specified text anywhere within the grouped text. Leave the Change Text to field empty to simply delete the text.

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