Support » Plugin: TablePress » Utterly useless

  • I needed to display tables for building information – nailing patterns, joist spans and the like. I was a web designer in a former life, but had no desire to hand-code HTML to create a table.

    This product was highly rated, but I have no idea why. Here are my challenges:
    1) cannot dictate column size
    2) cannot easily span columns
    3) Ugly as all sin
    4) can’t create background colours for cells.
    5) can’t alternate background fills for easy reads
    6) can’t control typeface of contents (for things like superscripts, italics/bold)

    I created a wordpress account specifically so I could review this product and tell people how awful it is.

Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • I don’t agree with your comments but here are some ways to deal with those challenges:

    1) You can create a CCS width/height style that targets individual columns
    2) Only one I haven’t tried yet
    3) Use CSS to decorate
    4) Use CSS to target the <td> within the specific <tr>. Each <tr> and <td> have classes assigned to them so you can do this.
    5) Are you talking about “Alternating Row Colors” and “Row Hover Highlighting” settings that are in the Table options section?
    6) Html tags such as <b>, <i>, <sup>, etc, all work within each <td>. You can also use CSS.

    Hope this helps.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by michaeljacoby. Reason: tags at bottom
    Plugin Author TobiasBg


    Hi @vernfaulkner,

    thanks for taking the time to give feedback here, I really appreciate it! I’m really sorry to hear that you had such a bad start with TablePress!

    Please be assured that I’ll do my best to help here, and I’ll be more than happy to give hints on how to find or achieve what you had been looking for! Maybe this will convince you to give TablePress a second chance. I’m sure that it will be helpful for you as well.

    Your challenges:

    > 1) cannot dictate column size

    This is possible using CSS code. Explanations and an example can be found at This CSS code is very flexible and powerful, and, in my opinion, it’s superior to other user interfaces.

    > 2) cannot easily span columns

    Spanning columns/rows/cells is possible using the “rowspan” and “colspan” buttons in the “Table Manipulation” section on a table’s “Edit” screen. There’s a small “?” button next to those as well, that explains the process. Ultimately, all that’s necessary is to add either the #rowspan# or #colspan# keyword into a table cell.

    > 3) Ugly as all sin

    I’m not sure what you mean with that. Are you referring to the user interface in the admin area? Or to the table styling on the frontend of the site? Note that this might also be affected by the styling of your theme. In any case, this is again easily customizable using CSS code, for which there are examples in the TablePress FAQ at

    > 4) can’t create background colours for cells.

    Just like other things, this is possible using CSS code, please see

    > 5) can’t alternate background fills for easy reads

    “Alternating background colors” is actually feature that’s turned on by default for TablePress tables. Note the corresponding checkbox on the table’s “Edit” screen. Of course it’s also possible to change these colors, again using a small piece of CSS code.
    If these alternating colors are not working on your site, my guess is that something else, like the theme’s code, is interfering. If you could post a link to the page with the table where this problems happens, I’ll be more than happy to take a look!

    > 6) can’t control typeface of contents (for things like superscripts, italics/bold)

    For this, you have two possibilities: You could either use CSS code again, see, or you could use some small additional HTML tags, like <b>, <i>, <sup>, and so on. While there’s no visual editor for this, you can use the buttons that the “Advanced Editor” offers for this, which you can reach via the corresponding button below the table input fields, or by holding down the “Shift” key while clicking into a table cell.

    I hope that these explanations help. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or if there’s something unclear!

    Best wishes,

    Thread Starter vernfaulkner


    You’re presuming I know, or have the time to know, how to perform CSS coding. I don’t. If I have to learn HTML (which by the way I do know) or CSS to make a plugin for WordPress (WordPress – a content assembly tool, not a CMS) then it’s already left a lot of users out in the cold.

    Ugly is what it looks like on a page, because (apparently) you have to be a web-coder to make it work.

    Heck, I may as well dump tables from excel into HTML files, copy and paste, right?

    Fortunately, I found something vastly superior as a free plugin.

    Plugin Author TobiasBg


    Hi @vernfaulkner,

    thanks for getting back to me so quickly!

    You are totally right, a little bit of CSS code is necessary if styling changes are desired. And I totally agree that not everybody is a web developer and has the time to first learn new things! This is exactly why I’m providing example CSS code for TablePress, which can be used as a “copy and go” solution with ease. And if something doesn’t work out, I’m always happy to help with more suggestions here in the support forums!

    And yes, you could of course copy tables from Excel into HTML files, but in my experience, the resulting code is much uglier and slower — and you’d lose the benefit of easily editing the table afterwards.

    It’s great to hear that you found a solution that works for you! Would you maybe share what plugin you are using now? I’d really like to try that out myself, to maybe get ideas on how to make TablePress (which is also a free plugin, by the way) better!

    My offer also still stands: If you ever need help with any TablePress issues, don’t hesitate to get in touch!

    Thanks a lot again and all the best!

    Thread Starter vernfaulkner


    Using MCE table buttons.

    My issue is that I’m the second most competent web/content creating guru in our company (ranked only by the boss, who has too much on his hands to code). I’m trying to create content than any clod can manage. Consequently, it has to be as easy as possible to use/edit. So I could theoretically go into HTML5/css, and the like, but that’s not a long-term option for future editability.

    Since I am building this material in a spreadsheet and now cut-and-paste into MCE’s open table, it means that modifying the table in the future is as simple as editing the spreadsheet in Open Office/Excel, and then doing a cut-and-paste. Far easier for, say, our admin assistant to deal with.

    Plugin Author TobiasBg


    Hi @vernfaulkner,

    thanks for the explanation! Yes, this totally makes sense, especially if tables involve a lot of custom styling or coloring.

    In TablePress, I tried to separate data entry (on the table’s “Edit” screen) from styling (with CSS code, on the “Plugin Options” screen).
    The feedback I get shows that this approach works great for many people and sites, as even “non-tech” people can easily change table data this way, without being overwhelmed with styling options.

    As a heads-up for the future: Note that MCE table buttons is only available for the “old” WordPress editor and not the WordPress Block Editor, and hasn’t been updated in over two years.

    Best wishes,

    Hi @vernfaulkner,

    I do not understand why the aggression.

    The developer has put all his efforts and time into the plugin.

    He is giving it to you for free, all he asks for is a coffee. In all its right.

    I agree to comment on our experience with a product, but to insult that. it can not be possible.

    If you do not like the product, do it yourself, pay to have it made or simply delete it.

    I don’t know the product, I just installed it and I must learn it.

    You are a person who wants everything easy and free.

    Also with little education.

    I feel sorry for you.

    Well said @vvalladolid.
    Thanks a lot @tobiasbg for your extreme hard work,in providing the solutions with a plugin.

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by vteja314.
    • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by vteja314.
Viewing 8 replies - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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