Creating a table

  • just start typing, e.g. |Name|Phone|Age RET |- TAB
  • convert region to table C-c |
  • … separator at least 3 spaces C-3 C-c |

Commands available inside tables

The following commands work when the cursor is inside a table. Outside of tables, the same keys may have other functionality.

Re-aligning and field motion

  • re-align the table without moving the cursor C-c C-c
  • re-align the table, move to next field TAB
  • move to previous field S-TAB
  • re-align the table, move to next row RET
  • move to beginning/end of field M-a/e

Row and column editing

  • move the current column left M-LEFT/RIGHT
  • kill the current column M-S-LEFT
  • insert new column to left of cursor position M-S-RIGHT
  • move the current row up/down M-UP/DOWN
  • kill the current row or horizontal line M-S-UP
  • insert new row above the current row M-S-DOWN
  • insert hline below (C-u : above) current row C-c –
  • insert hline and move to line below it C-c RET
  • sort lines in region C-c ^


  • cut/copy/paste rectangular region C-c C-x C-w/M-w/C-y
  • fill paragraph across selected cells C-c C-q


  • to limit column width to N characters, use …| <N> |…
  • edit the current field in a separate window C-c `
  • make current field fully visible C-u TAB
  • export as tab-separated file M-x org-table-export
  • import tab-separated file M-x org-table-import
  • sum numbers in current column/rectangle C-c +

Tables created with the table.el package

  • insert a new table.el table C-c ~
  • recognize existing table.el table C-c C-c
  • convert table (Org-mode <-> table.el) C-c ~


Formulas typed in field are executed by TAB, RET and C-c C-c. = introduces a column formula, := a field formula.

  • Example: Add Col1 and Col2 |=$1+$2 |
  • … with printf format specification |=$1+$2;%.2f|
  • … with constants from constants.el |=$1/$c/$cm |
  • sum from 2nd to 3rd hline |:=vsum(@[email protected])|
  • apply current column formula | = |
  • set and eval column formula C-c =
  • set and eval field formula C-u C-c =
  • re-apply all stored equations to current line C-c *
  • re-apply all stored equations to entire table C-u C-c *
  • iterate table to stability C-u C-u C-c *
  • rotate calculation mark through # * ! ^ _ $ C-#
  • show line, column, formula reference C-c ?
  • toggle grid / debugger C-c }/{

Formula Editor

  • edit formulas in separate buffer C-c ’
  • exit and install new formulas C-c C-c
  • exit, install, and apply new formulas C-u C-c C-c
  • abort C-c C-q
  • toggle reference style C-c C-r
  • pretty-print Lisp formula TAB
  • complete Lisp symbol M-TAB
  • shift reference point S-cursor
  • shift test line for column references M-up/down
  • scroll the window showing the table M-S-up/down
  • toggle table coordinate grid C-c }

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