For lack of anything better to post, I would like to get an idea of what people think of the table editing in the HTML/ASPX designer in whidbey.

I spent a lot of time trying to improve this area. After VS.NET 2003 I rewrote some parts of this code, hoping to create something that was more powerful and easier to use. For example:

  • Selecting rows and columns is hopefully easier now with the selection widgets that we added.
  • Selecting cells should be easier now (you can hold down CTRL to get an Excel-style cursor, and selecting text that covers more than one cell automatically selects multiple cells).
  • All cells (no matter what the spanning) belong to one column and one row. This makes table operations like insertion and deletion more predictable.
  • Accessibility is improved. You can tab/shift-tab between cells, or arrow around them. Space/esc allow you to move deeper or shallower with nested text areas.
  • Resizing now shows you a watermark over the column/row/cell being resized, so that you know what you are resizing, and what size is being written there.
  • You can resize columns and rows through dialogs now, if using the mouse is not to your liking.
  • Inserting tables should be easier. Specifying whether you want certain attributes is clearer now, and the cell and table properties are separate.
  • Everything uses CSS now instead of attributes.

We know that people spend a lot of time in tables, because HTML documents are normally very heavy in them. That is why this area got so much attention in Whidbey. Did we go far enough? Do you like the features?

Edit: For some reason two copies of this were put up. Not sure why. The first one was deleted.