Wiki Tables

Consider this sortable wiki table. What is the easiest way to create it and maintain it? Here is how I do it:

  1. Use a spreadsheet such as Excel, OpenOffice Calc, or Google Docs to compile the data. I like to use Google Docs so that if needed I can share the spreadsheet online. A spreadsheet is simpler to use than a wiki table, duplicates cells easier, and totals columns. Where there are blank cells, use a non-breaking space (&nbsp) to maintain table integrity.
  2. When the spreadsheet is finished, export the data as csv. In Google Docs the csv data appears in another tab in my Firefox browser.
  3. Select all the csv data and paste it into the window of a CSV Converter. In the Convert Special Characters section select Do not convert (table contains code). Click on the Convert to MediaWiki! button.
  4. Copy the wiki table to your wiki edit page. Add in your wikitable sortable, cellspacing, border, and background color, etc. Don’t forget to add the sortbottom class before the totals row.
  5. When updating your article, put the changes in your spreadsheet and convert as before but do not replace the wiki table header. You will have to re-type the sortbottom class as this is replaced each time. If someone else updates the wiki table directly, don’t forget to update your spreadsheet.

With a large wiki table of membership records, by updating in a spreadsheet the totals are calculated for you which makes for easier going than to update the wiki table directly.