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A.1.3 JTables

An example JTable

An example JTable

Many of the windows, including the Data Window, display their data in a visual component called a JTable. This displays a grid of values, with headings for each column, in a window which you can scroll around. Although JTables are used for a number of different things (for instance, showing the table data themselves in the Data Window and showing the column metadata in the Columns Window), the fact that the same widget is used provides a common look and feel.

Here are some of the things you can do with a JTable:

Scroll around
Using the scrollbars which may appear to the right and below the table you can scroll around it to see parts which are not initially visible. You can grab the sliders and drag them around by holding the mouse button down while you move it, or click in the slider "trough" one side or other of the current slider position to move a screenful. Under some circumstances the cursor arrow keys and PageUp/PageDown keys may move the table too. If the JTable is small enough to fit within the window the scrollbars may not appear.
Move columns
By clicking on the header (grey title bit at the top) of a column and dragging it left or right, you can change the order of columns as displayed. In some cases (the Data Window) this actually has the effect of changing the order of the columns in the table; in other cases it is just cosmetic.
Resize columns
By dragging on the line between row headers you can change the width of the columns in the table.
Edit cells
In some cases, cells are editable. If they are, then double-clicking in the cell will begin an edit session for that cell, and pressing Return will confirm that the edit has been made.
Select rows
Sometimes rows can be highlighted; you can select one row by clicking on it or a number of contiguous rows by clicking and dragging from the first to the last. To add further rows to a set already selected without deselecting the first lot, hold the "Control" key down while you do it.
Sort rows
In some, but not all cases, you may see a little up or down arrow in one of the column headers. This indicates that the rows of the table have been sorted according to the values in that column. If you click on another column header, the rows will be re-sorted according to the values in that column. Clicking again on the same column reverses the sort order. This feature is only available for certain displayed JTables.

In some cases where a JTable is displayed, there will be a menu on the menu bar named Display. This permits you to select which columns are visible and which are hidden. Clicking on the menu will give you a list of all the available columns in the table, each with a checkbox by it; click the box to toggle whether the column is displayed or not.


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Next: Column Selector
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TOPCAT - Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables
Starlink User Note253
TOPCAT web page: http://www.starlink.ac.uk/topcat/
Author email: m.b.taylor@bristol.ac.uk
Mailing list: topcat-user@jiscmail.ac.uk