Monday, December 6, 2004

Multiple Header Rows In OpenOffice.org Writer Tables

— Matt Harris @ 9:01 pm

I was working on formatting the 3.5 Magic Items SRD yesterday in OpenOffice.org Writer. There are several tables in the document that span more than one page, so I wanted to set them up so that the multiple header rows would repeat on following pages. This is very easy to do in Microsoft Word.

While OpenOffice.org allows repeating of table header rows on multi-page tables, the only row it considers a “header” row is the first row of a table. That makes it technically impossible to have multi-row headers repeat.

Fortunately, I came across a partial work-around. One can split the cells in a header row horizontally, so it looks like there are two or more rows. Apparently OpenOffice.org considers these split cells still part of the first/header row and they will repeat on following pages when “Repeat Heading” is checked.

This works fine when there are the same number of cells in each row, example:

-------------------------
|           |           |  Header Pseudo-Row 1
-------------------------
|           |           |  Header Pseudo-Row 2
-------------------------

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a way to have multiple rows repeat and have the rows have different number of cells. OpenOffice.org won’t allow the cells to merged – it gives a “Selected table cells are too complex to merge” message.

-------------------------
|                       | Header Pseudo-Row 1
-------------------------
|           |           | Header Pseudo-Row 2 
-------------------------
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