Working with tables

The Google Docs API allows you to edit table contents. The operations you can perform include the following:

  • Insert and delete rows, columns, or entire tables.
  • Insert content into table cells.
  • Read content from table cells.
  • Modify column properties and the style of rows.

Tables in Google Docs are represented as a type of StructuralElement in the document. Each table contains a list of table rows where each row contains a list of table cells. As with all structural elements, the table has start and end indexes, indicating the table's position in the document. See the structure for more information on indexing. Table properties include many style elements such as column widths and padding.

The following JSON fragment shows a simple 2x2 table with most of the detail removed:

"table": {
    "columns": 2,
    "rows": 2,
    "tableRows": [
        { "tableCells": [
                {
                    "content": [ { "paragraph": { ...  }, } ],
                },
                {
                    "content": [ { "paragraph": { ... }, } ],
                }
            ],
        },
        {
            "tableCells": [
                {
                    "content": [ { "paragraph": { ... }, } ],
                },
                {
                    "content": [ { "paragraph": { ... }, } ],
                }
            ],
        }
    ]
}

Inserting and deleting tables

To add a new table to a document, use the InsertTableRequest. You must specify the following when inserting a table:

  • The table dimensions in rows and columns.
  • The location to insert the new table: this can be an index within a segment, or it can be the end of a segment.

There is no explicit method for deleting tables. To delete a table from a document, treat it as you would any other content: use the DeleteContentRangeRequest, specifying a range that covers the entire table.

The following example inserts a 3x3 table at the end of an empty document:

Java

// Insert a table at the end of the body.
// (An empty or unspecified segmentId field indicates the document's body.)

List<Request> requests = new ArrayList<>();
requests.add(
    new Request()
        .setInsertTable(
            new InsertTableRequest()
                .setEndOfSegmentLocation(
                    new EndOfSegmentLocation())
                .setRows(3)
                .setColumns(3)));

BatchUpdateDocumentRequest body =
    new BatchUpdateDocumentRequest().setRequests(requests);
BatchUpdateDocumentResponse response =
    docsService.documents().batchUpdate(DOCUMENT_ID, body).execute();

Python

  # Insert a table at the end of the body.
  # (An empty or unspecified segmentId field indicates the document's body.)

  requests = [{
      'insertTable': {
          'rows': 3,
          'columns': 3,
          'endOfSegmentLocation': {
            'segmentId': ''
          }
      },
  }
  ]

  result = service.documents().batchUpdate(documentId=DOCUMENT_ID, body={'requests': requests}).execute()

This corresponding example shows how to delete the table previously inserted:

Java

// Delete a table that was inserted at the start of the body.
// (The table is the second element in the body:
//  document.getBody().getContent().get(2).)

Document document = docsService.documents().get(DOCUMENT_ID).execute();
StructuralElement table = document.getBody().getContent().get(2);

List<Request> requests = new ArrayList<>();
requests.add(
    new Request()
        .setDeleteContentRange(
            new DeleteContentRangeRequest()
                .setRange(
                    new Range()
                        .setStartIndex(table.getStartIndex())
                        .setEndIndex(table.getEndIndex()))));

BatchUpdateDocumentRequest body =
    new BatchUpdateDocumentRequest().setRequests(requests);
BatchUpdateDocumentResponse response =
    docsService.documents().batchUpdate(DOCUMENT_ID, body).execute();

Python

  # Delete a table that was inserted at the start of the body.
  # (The table is the second element in the body: ['body']['content'][2].)

  document = service.documents().get(documentId=DOCUMENT_ID).execute()
  table = document['body']['content'][2]

  requests = [{
      'deleteContentRange': {
        'range': {
          'segmentId': '',
          'startIndex': table['startIndex'],
          'endIndex':   table['endIndex']
        }
      },
  }
  ]

  result = service.documents().batchUpdate(documentId=DOCUMENT_ID, body={'requests': requests}).execute()

Because you delete a table as ordinary content—by specifying start and end indexes—you need to get these indexes from somewhere. The example shows one way to extract these indexes from the document content.

Inserting and deleting rows

If your document already contains a table, the Google Docs API allows you to insert and delete table rows. Use the InsertTableRowRequest to insert rows above or below a specified table cell and the DeleteTableRowRequest to remove a row that spans the specified cell location.

The following example inserts text into the first table cell of a table and adds a table row.

Java

List<Request> requests = new ArrayList<>();
requests.add(new Request().setInsertText(new InsertTextRequest()
        .setText("Hello")
        .setLocation(new Location().setIndex(5))));
requests.add(new Request().setInsertTableRow(new InsertTableRowRequest()
        .setTableCellLocation(new TableCellLocation()
                .setTableStartLocation(new Location()
                        .setIndex(2))
                .setRowIndex(1)
                .setColumnIndex(1))
        .setInsertBelow(true)));

BatchUpdateDocumentRequest body =
    new BatchUpdateDocumentRequest().setRequests(requests);
BatchUpdateDocumentResponse response = docsService.documents()
        .batchUpdate(DOCUMENT_ID, body).execute();

Python

  requests = [{
        'insertText': {
          'location': {
            'index': 5
          },
          'text': 'Hello'
      }
    },
    {
      'insertTableRow': {
          'tableCellLocation': {
              'tableStartLocation': {
                      'index': 2
              },
              'rowIndex': 1,
              'columnIndex': 1
          },
          'insertBelow': 'true'
      }
    }
  ]

  result = service.documents().batchUpdate(documentId=DOCUMENT_ID, body={'requests': requests}).execute()

Inserting and deleting columns

To insert a column into an existing table, use the InsertTableColumnRequest. You must specify the following:

  • A cell next to which you want a new column inserted.
  • Which side (left or right) to insert the new column.

The following example shows how you can insert a column into the 2x2 table shown earlier:

Java

List<Request> requests = new ArrayList<>();
requests.add(
    new Request()
        .setInsertTableColumn(
            new InsertTableColumnRequest()
                .setTableCellLocation(
                    new TableCellLocation()
                        .setTableStartLocation(
                            new Location().setIndex(2))
                        .setRowIndex(0)
                        .setColumnIndex(0))
                .setInsertRight(true)));

BatchUpdateDocumentRequest body =
    new BatchUpdateDocumentRequest().setRequests(requests);
BatchUpdateDocumentResponse response =
    docsService.documents().batchUpdate(DOCUMENT_ID, body).execute();

Python

  requests = [{
      'insertTableColumn': {
        'tableCellLocation': {
          'tableStartLocation': {
            'segmentId': '',
            'index': 2
          },
          'rowIndex': 0,
          'columnIndex': 0
        },
        'insertRight': True
      },
  }
  ]

  result = service.documents().batchUpdate(documentId=DOCUMENT_ID, body={'requests': requests}).execute()

To delete a column, use the DeleteTableColumnRequest. You specify the cell location within a target column just as shown previously for inserting a column.

Reading content from table cells

A table cell contains a list of structural elements; each of these structural elements can be a paragraph with text or another type of structure—even another table. To read table contents, you can recursively inspect each element, as shown in Extract Text.

Inserting content into table cells

To write to a table cell, use an InsertTextRequest to an index within the cell you want to update. The table indexes adjust to account for the updated text. The same applies for deleting cell text with the DeleteContentRangeRequest.

Modifying column properties

The UpdateTableColumnPropertiesRequest lets you modify the properties of one or more of the columns in a table.

You must provide the starting index of the table, along with a TableColumnProperties object. To modify selected columns only, include a list of column numbers in the request; to modify all columns in the table, provide an empty list.

The following example updates the column widths of a table, setting all columns to 100pts wide, then the width of the first column to 200pt:

Java

List<Request> requests = new ArrayList<>();
requests.add(
    new Request()
        .setUpdateTableColumnProperties(
            new UpdateTableColumnPropertiesRequest()
                .setTableStartLocation(new Location().setIndex(2))
                .setColumnIndices(null)
                .setTableColumnProperties(
                    new TableColumnProperties()
                        .setWidthType("FIXED_WIDTH")
                        .setWidth(
                            new Dimension().setMagnitude(100d).setUnit("PT")))
                .setFields("*")));

List<Integer> columnIndices = new ArrayList<>();
columnIndices.add(0);
requests.add(
    new Request()
        .setUpdateTableColumnProperties(
            new UpdateTableColumnPropertiesRequest()
                .setTableStartLocation(new Location().setIndex(2))
                .setColumnIndices(columnIndices)
                .setTableColumnProperties(
                    new TableColumnProperties()
                        .setWidthType("FIXED_WIDTH")
                        .setWidth(
                            new Dimension().setMagnitude(200d).setUnit("PT")))
                .setFields("*")));

BatchUpdateDocumentRequest body =
    new BatchUpdateDocumentRequest().setRequests(requests);
BatchUpdateDocumentResponse response =
    docsService.documents().batchUpdate(DOCUMENT_ID, body).execute();

Python

  requests = [{
    'updateTableColumnProperties': {
      'tableStartLocation': {'index': 2},
      'columnIndices': [],
      'tableColumnProperties': {
        'widthType': 'FIXED_WIDTH',
        'width': {
          'magnitude': 100,
          'unit': 'PT'
        }
      },
      'fields': '*'
    },
    'updateTableColumnProperties': {
      'tableStartLocation': {'index': 2},
      'columnIndices': [0],
      'tableColumnProperties': {
        'widthType': 'FIXED_WIDTH',
        'width': {
          'magnitude': 200,
          'unit': 'PT'
        }
      },
      'fields': '*'
    },
  }
  ]

  result = service.documents().batchUpdate(documentId=DOCUMENT_ID, body={'requests': requests}).execute()

Modifying row styles

The UpdateTableRowsStyleRequest lets you modify the style of one or more of the rows in a table.

You must provide the starting index of the table, along with a TableRowStyle object. To modify selected rows only, include a list of row numbers in the request; to modify all rows in the table, provide an empty list.

The following example sets the minimum height of row 3 of a table:

Java

List<Integer> rowIndices = new ArrayList<>();
rowIndices.add(3);

List<Request> requests = new ArrayList<>();
requests.add(
    new Request()
        .setUpdateTableRowStyle(
            new UpdateTableRowStyleRequest()
                .setTableStartLocation(new Location().setIndex(2))
                .setRowIndices(rowIndices)
                .setTableRowStyle(
                    new TableRowStyle()
                        .setMinRowHeight(
                            new Dimension().setMagnitude(18d).setUnit("PT")))
                .setFields("*")));

BatchUpdateDocumentRequest body =
    new BatchUpdateDocumentRequest().setRequests(requests);
BatchUpdateDocumentResponse response =
    docsService.documents().batchUpdate(DOCUMENT_ID, body).execute();

Python

  requests = [{
      'updateTableRowStyle': {
          'tableStartLocation': {'index': 2},
          'rowIndices': [3],
          'tableRowStyle': {
              'minRowHeight': {
                'magnitude': 18,
                'unit': 'PT'
              }
          },
          'fields': '*'
      },
  }
  ]

  result = service.documents().batchUpdate(documentId=DOCUMENT_ID, body={'requests': requests}).execute()

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