So far, you’ve learned about using tables for complex Web page designs, using tricks like merging cells, invisible spacer images, and Dreamweaver’s Layout view. But what about the original purpose of a table—displaying data in an orderly manner? You can still do that, of course, and Dreamweaver provides a couple of tools to make the process of dealing with tabular data run smoothly.
Your boss emails you your company’s yearly sales information, which includes data on sales, profits, and expenses organized by quarter. She asks you to get this up on the Web for a board meeting she’s having in half an hour.
This assignment could require a fair amount of work: building a table and then copying and pasting the correct information into each cell of the table, one at a time. Dreamweaver makes your task much easier, because you can create a table and import data into the table’s rows and columns, all in one pass.
In order for this to work, the table data you want to display must begin life in a delimited format—a task that most spreadsheet programs, including Excel, or database programs, such as Access or FileMaker Pro, can do easily. (Choosing File→Export or File→Save As in these programs usually does it.)
In a delimited file, each line of text represents one table row. Each line is divided into smaller units using a special character called a delimiter—most often a tab, but possibly also a comma or colon. Each unit represents a single cell in the row. ...