Working with Tables (SpreadsheetML)

Last modified: October 08, 2010

Applies to: Excel 2010 | Office 2010 | PowerPoint 2010 | Word 2010

This topic discusses the Open XML SDK 2.0Table class and how it relates to the Open XML File Format SpreadsheetML schema. For more information about the overall structure of the parts and elements that make up a SpreadsheetML document, see Structure of a SpreadsheetML Document.

The following information from the ISO/IEC 29500 specification introduces the table (<table>) element.

A table helps organize and provide structure to lists of information in a worksheet. Tables have clearly labeled columns, rows, and data regions. Tables make it easier for users to sort, analyze, format, manage, add, and delete information.

If a region of data is designated as a Table, then special behaviors can be applied which help the user perform useful actions. [Example: if the user types additional data in the row adjacent to the bottom of the table, the table can expand and automatically add that data to the data region of the table. Similarly, adding a column is as easy as typing a new column heading to the right or left of the current column headings. Filter and sort abilities can automatically be surfaced to the user via the drop down arrows. Special calculated columns can be created which summarize or calculate data in the table. These columns have the ability to expand and shrink according to size of the table, and maintain proper formula referencing. end example]

Tables can be created from data already present in the worksheet, from an external data query, or from mapping a collection of repeating XML elements to a worksheet range.

The sheet XML stores the numeric and textual data. The table XML records the various attributes for the particular table object.

© ISO/IEC29500: 2008.

A SpreadsheetML table is a logical construct that specifies that a range of data belongs to a single dataset. SpreadsheetML already uses a table-like model for specifying values in rows and columns, but you can also label a subset of the sheet as a table and give it certain properties that are useful for analysis. A table in SpreadsheetML allows you to analyze data in new ways, such as by using filtering, formatting and binding of data.

Like other constructs in SpreadsheetML, a table in a worksheet is stored in a separate part inside the package. The table part does not contain any table data. The data is maintained in the worksheet cells. For more information about data is stored in the worksheet, see Working with Sheets.

The following table lists the common Open XML SDK 2.0 classes used when working with the Table class.

SpreadsheetML Element

Open XML SDK 2.0 Class





The Open XML SDK 2.0Table class represents the table (<table>) element defined in the Open XML File Format schema for SpreadsheetML documents. Use the Table class to manipulate individual <table> elements in a SpreadsheetML document.

The following information from the ISO/IEC 29500 specification introduces the table (<table>) element.

An instance of this part type contains a description of a single table and its autofilter information. (The data for the table is stored in the corresponding Worksheet part.)

The root element for a part of this content type shall be table.

© ISO/IEC29500: 2008.

The table part contains the definition of a single table. When there are multiple tables on a worksheet there are multiple table parts. The root element for this part is the table. At a minimum, the table only needs information about the table columns that make up the table. However, to enable autofiltering you must define at least one autofilter, which can be empty. If you do not define any autofilter, autofiltering will be disabled when the document is opened in Excel.

The table element has several attributes used to identify the table and the data range it covers. The id and name attributes must be unique across all table parts. The displayName attribute must be unique across all table parts and unique across all defined names in the workbook. The name attribute is used by the object model in Excel. The displayName attribute is used by references in formulas. The ref attribute is used to identify the cell range that the table covers. This includes not only the table data, but also the table header containing column names. For more information about table attributes, see the ISO/IEC 29500 specification.

Table Column Class

To add columns to your table you add new tableColumn elements to the tableColumns collection. The collection has a count attribute that tracks the number of columns.

The following information from the ISO/IEC 29500 specification introduces the TableColumn (<tableColumn>) element.

An element representing a single column for this table.

© ISO/IEC29500: 2008.

Auto Filter Class

The following information from the ISO/IEC 29500 specification introduces the AutoFilter (<autoFilter>) element.

AutoFilter temporarily hides rows based on filter criteria, which is applied column by column to a table of data in the worksheet. This collection expresses AutoFilter settings.

[Example: This example expresses a filter indicating to 'show only values greater than 0.5'. The filter is being applied to the range B3:E8, and the criteria is being applied to values in the column whose colId='1' (zero based column numbering, from left to right). Therefore any rows must be hidden if the value in that particular column is less than or equal to 0.5.

<autoFilter ref="B3:E8">

    <filterColumn colId="1">


            <customFilter operator="greaterThan" val="0.5"/>




end example]

© ISO/IEC29500: 2008.

SpreadsheetML Example

This example shows the XML for a file that contains one table on Sheet1. The table contains three columns and three rows, plus a column header.

The following XML defines the worksheet and is contained in the "sheet1.xml" file. The worksheet XML file contains the actual data displayed in the table, and contains the tablePart element that references the "table1.xml" file, which contains the table definition.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<worksheet xmlns="" xmlns:r="" xmlns:mc="" mc:Ignorable="x14ac" xmlns:x14ac="">
    <dimension ref="A1:C4"/>
        <sheetView tabSelected="1" workbookViewId="0">
            <selection sqref="A1:C4"/>
    <sheetFormatPr defaultRowHeight="15" x14ac:dyDescent="0.25"/>
        <col min="1" max="3" width="11" customWidth="1"/>
        <row r="1" spans="1:3" x14ac:dyDescent="0.25">
            <c r="A1" t="s">
            <c r="B1" t="s">
            <c r="C1" t="s">
        <row r="2" spans="1:3" x14ac:dyDescent="0.25">
            <c r="A2">
            <c r="B2">
            <c r="C2">
        <row r="3" spans="1:3" x14ac:dyDescent="0.25">
            <c r="A3">
            <c r="B3">
            <c r="C3">
        <row r="4" spans="1:3" x14ac:dyDescent="0.25">
            <c r="A4">
            <c r="B4">
            <c r="C4">
    <pageMargins left="0.7" right="0.7" top="0.75" bottom="0.75" header="0.3" footer="0.3"/>
    <tableParts count="1">
        <tablePart r:id="rId1"/>

The following XML defines the table and is contained in the "table1.xml" file. The table XML file defines how the range of the table and how the table looks, and defines any autofilters for the table.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>
<table xmlns="" id="1" name="Table1" displayName="Table1" ref="A1:C4" totalsRowShown="0">
    <autoFilter ref="A1:C4"/>
    <tableColumns count="3">
        <tableColumn id="1" name="Column1"/>
        <tableColumn id="2" name="Column2"/>
        <tableColumn id="3" name="Column3"/>
    <tableStyleInfo name="TableStyleMedium2" showFirstColumn="0" showLastColumn="0" showRowStripes="1" showColumnStripes="0"/>