My Tables are Awesome

This past spring, I was having a conversation with Mia ZamoraAlan Levine, and Keegan Long Wheeler about the NetNarr course. Alan was putting together a table for a website that looked really slick, and when I asked what tool he was using, he said Awesome Tables. Four months later, I’m obsessed.

I am particularly susceptible to the charm of Awesome Tables, because I subscribe to the Tom Woodward school of using Google Sheets for everything. Awesome Tables adds a second sheet to a google spreadsheet. This second sheet has cells containing html, css, and js code, all of which format your data into an interactive table. Here’s the table that my Projects page is running:


Here’s the Google spreadsheet driving it. You can see the data on the first sheet and the code on the second.

I’m excited about this stuff for a couple of reasons:

  1. You can use the second sheet to work through basic website programming with real data and see the results by refreshing the table. I could see using this in a class to teach some basic web coding.
  2. There are about a dozen pretty nice templates built so it’s easy to quickly turn a spreadsheet into a decent looking database.
  3. Google Sheets is powerful because of the ability to use google scripts to collect data. You can use HTTP GET calls to mine data and standard javascript to parse the xml or json files into the rows of the table. You can also POST to google sheets from other web apps or use 3rd party services like Zapier or IFTTT to link it with other web apps with APIs.

There are other ways to build similar tables with bootstrap or even raw html and css, but Awesome Tables is fairly easy to use and embed. The connection between the data and the output is fairly intuitive and easy to manipulate.

By way of example of what you can do quickly and easily, here are a couple of Awesome Tables that I’ve been working on in the last couple of weeks:

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3 Comments

  1. Tom

    You’ve got me wondering about how much awesome awesome tables can take. I may throw 1600 rows of data at it and see what happens.

    Also gets me thinking about how much web design/ers will change in the next 5 to 10 years.

  2. I love Awesome Tables too (https://readwriterespond.com/2017/05/awesome-reading-list-edublogsclub/). It has so many entry points. You can just grab a template or make the code what you like.

  3. Nifty to see your tables in Action. I have to credit Martin Hawksey for turning me onto Awesome Tables with one he set up to map the location of twitter accounts in his TAGs worksheets.

    I mainly turn to them for the ability to filter and provide search to large spreadsheets, but I bet I’ve barely scratched the surface.

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