Layout text tables

Text tables in LO are very useful for scheduling. However, I cannot find out whether you can edit them in the same way as you can spreadsheets, say. If you want to add a row, say, you can increase the number of rows but that adds the new row on at the bottom. You frequently want to insert a line (or column) somewhere else. Is there a way of doing that without laboriously moving the contents of loads of cells?

I don’t think you can.

I create tables as RTF files and insert them into LO. Then they can be edited in your text editor and when saved, the table is updated in LO. This gives you a lot more options for editing than you have in LO, too.

Thanks Dave, I will try that. Sounds like a good option.

You’re welcome and good luck with it.

FWIW, when you want to edit the table, just right click on the text box and choose Edit in Text Editor (or whatever the option is. I’m writing it from memory.) Don’t double click on it to open the text box or you’ll break the link to the RTF file. It can be restored if needed by relinking in Document Setup.

The tables I make start out in Excel and then go to Word for final formatting before getting saved as an RTF file.

This is old and doesn’t show the table real clearly but it gives an idea of the appearance I use when creating tables.

Dave, I may have hit a snag here. I use a Mac which has TextEdit built in. You can create a table within it but the controls for creating one look identical to those in LO and so have the same limitations. I could create a spreadsheet in Numbers or Pages but I don’t think I can export in RTF format. Back to the drawing board…!

Get a decent text editor. Either MSOffice or LibreOffice (which is free).

Point taken. TextEditor actually works fine using tabs but no table. Interestingly, if you insert it into LO it is editable with TextEdit (as you said), but this option disappears if you put a frame around the insert. Bit weird, that.

If you modify the text box you’ll lose the ability to edit in the text editor. I think you can get around that but I need to get at LO to test it. No access at the moment.

Hello @DaveR

I am a new Sketchup/LayOut user and love learning it and using it for my work…

This post was super helpful as I often import RTF tables to my design reports. (Excel → Word RTF → LayOut).

Only thing is, whatever I do I can’t seem to get rid of the box outlines in Layout. Neither the Excel nor Word tables have box/table outlines, but they appear in LayOut. I’m replying to this post only because I’m jealous of your outline-less tables in the picture. Please help!!

I’m glad this was helpful.

I don’t like the grid lines either so I convert the tables to text in Word and use tabs to set column width.

That worked, thank you!!

Fingers crossed that LayOut will get more efficient at importing tables than going through the whole chain of conversions, but this works for now… Yay!

Hi sketchsolarup-

Since this thread was posted, LayOut did add native support for tables. You can import tab-separated text or Excel files directly into a LayOut table, and then you can use the standard LayOut style inspector to change the appearance of the table. There’s a lot to the feature, so give it a shot and ask questions if you can’t figure out how to do something.

If you still want to import the old, RTF-style table, you can continue to use the old workflow.


Oh that’s even better than RTF. I imported a CSV file directly, got rid of the lines by formatting it from Shape Style, and now can update table references just like I do with Sketchup models.
That solves a problem I didn’t know I had!
Thank you.