There are so many questions regarding Excel. The questioner and those giving questions need to cite an example frequently.

There are, however, no simple method to convert an excel table into a neat one. For example (okay so I am quoting an example) no one can understand this table:

Cell 1 Cell 2 Cell 3 Cell 4 Cell 5 Cell 6 Cell 7 Cell AA Cell BB Cell CC Cell DD Cell EE Cell FF Cell GG 0.800975839 0.069498939 0.928547206 0.687179413 0.049817769 0.146646454 0.453482289 38 23 31 55 68 95 75

Until it is made into something like:

Cell 1      | Cell 2      | Cell 3      | Cell 4      | Cell 5      | Cell 6      | Cell 7
Cell AA     | Cell BB     | Cell CC     | Cell DD     | Cell EE     | Cell FF     | Cell GG
0.800975839 | 0.069498939 | 0.928547206 | 0.687179413 | 0.049817769 | 0.146646454 | 0.453482289
         38 |          23 |          31 |          55 |          68 |          95 |          75

Is there any handy way to achieve this type of formatting?

  • I always find it easier to wrap these in <pre> tags and get the questioner to tweak where necessary. – Burgi Aug 2 at 11:12
  • @Burgi Why are you restoring to <pre> HTML tags when indenting four spaces and wrapping and item with backticks will code format? One should avoid using HTML formatting of any kind on Stack Exchange sites unless it is truly necessary. Such as in the key cap tags: <kbd>. – JakeGould Aug 2 at 13:52
  • 2
    ehh. Whatever gets it across. – Journeyman Geek Aug 2 at 14:13
  • @JakeGould if there is a HUGE block of tabular data it is much faster for everyone involved. – Burgi Aug 2 at 14:31
  • I find a screenshot is usually best. It's compact and readable. Some users say to post data as data, not as a picture of data, because it is easier for readers to replicate. However, using table generators that make it pretty introduces a lot of noise that is often more work to clean up that just reentering the data. – fixer1234 Aug 2 at 22:20
  • Screenshot are good for asking questions, but not coming in handy when fixing newbies' questions quickly. – Kenneth L Aug 3 at 1:43
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I use the Tables Generator web site as a starting point. (Note that I'm not affiliated with it.)

The unmodified result of creating a 5-row by 8-column table and filling it with the raw data from your example, plus the column/row names, is this:

+---+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+
|   |      A      |      B      |      C      |      D      |      E      |      F      |      G      |
+---+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+
| 1 | Cell 1      | Cell 2      | Cell 3      | Cell 4      | Cell 5      | Cell 6      | Cell 7      |
+---+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+
| 2 | Cell AA     | Cell BB     | Cell CC     | Cell DD     | Cell EE     | Cell FF     | Cell GG     |
+---+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+
| 3 | 0.800975839 | 0.069498939 | 0.928547206 | 0.687179413 | 0.049817769 | 0.146646454 | 0.453482289 |
+---+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+
| 4 |          38 |          23 |          31 |          55 |          68 |          95 |          75 |
+---+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+

I then manually modify it to look like this:

   |      A      |      B      |      C      |      D      |      E      |      F      |      G      
---+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------+-------------
 1 | Cell 1      | Cell 2      | Cell 3      | Cell 4      | Cell 5      | Cell 6      | Cell 7      
 2 | Cell AA     | Cell BB     | Cell CC     | Cell DD     | Cell EE     | Cell FF     | Cell GG     
 3 | 0.800975839 | 0.069498939 | 0.928547206 | 0.687179413 | 0.049817769 | 0.146646454 | 0.453482289 
 4 |          38 |          23 |          31 |          55 |          68 |          95 |          75 

Notes:

There are a few issues with the site. One problem I've found is that if you're copy/pasting data from an actual Excel spreadsheet, you can only do so correctly for one column at a time, unless you paste the data first into a text editor and then re-copy it from there. (At least for Firefox ESR.)

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