showtable - Show data in nicely formatted columns
showtable [-options] [file]
Showtable reads an input data stream and displays it in a nicely formatted listing,
with exact formatting depending upon the options. The input stream, file or
by default should consist of data separated by tabs or the defined separator character
The actual output formatting is peformed by the ShowTable module.
There are two general sets of options: those which help determine the format of the input,
and those which determine the format of the output.
- Set the inter-column break string to "str". The default is a tab
\t"). If -strip is also given, blanks surrounding the
break string will also be ignored.
- This is the same as
- Do not ignore lines of separators, such as dashes, equal signs, or underlines. If -nodashes
is given, and these lines do occur in the stream, they will be treated as normal data.
- Treat the first NN rows of data as column titles; multiple words in the column
titles may wrap vertically. If NN is omitted, it defaults to 1. No -titles
option is the same as -titles=0.
- Set the input type as type, which can be one of: box, list, table,
or simple. A simple-type table is the same as a table-type, but no
wrapping characters are recognized.
- Strip blanks from around the column values.
- Do not strip blanks from the input. Useful if there is formatted or aligned data within
a boxed table.
- Use a table format for output, with wrapping of column values longer than the
given or determined column widths. See ShowTable for more details.
- Use a simple table format, without any wrapping of column values. See ShowTable for more details.
- Use a list style format. See ShowTable for more details.
- Use a "boxed" style table. See ShowTable for more details.
- Use HTML-formating. See ShowTable
for more details.
- Define the column names explicitly. This is useful for naming columns of data from
when showtable is being used as a filter. The first column name, name1,
cannot begin with a digit. This option allows any column titles obtained from the input to
- Do not output any headers on the tables; -titles=0 implies this option.
- -fn1[,n2, ..., nN]
Select fields numbered n1, n2, etc., to display. Each nN is a
field index, or a range of indexes in the form:
M The default
is to show all the fields in each row. Fields are numbered from 1. An example: to show the
first, and three through five fields of the
showtable -d: -f1,2-5 /etc/passwd
Select the named fields to display. The field names must be available, either through
the data stream, or by using the -titles option. The field names given must match
the existing field names exactly.
Using the file
/etc/passwd for another example: to show the same first two
fields, by name:
showtable -d: -titles=Login,UID -fields=Login,UID /etc/passwd
Set the maximum table width. This value is applied to the variable Data::Showtable::Max_Table_Width. When
the total width of all columns to be displayed exceeds this value, all column widths are
If -width is not given, then for all output but -html, the default value
is either "
COLUMNS", if defined, or 80, if not. Whith -html
mode, there is no default value for -width; in other words, there is no limit to
Set individual column widths to the specified values. Empty column widths imply no
maximum width. If the -width option is also given, then the -cwidth column
widths can also be given as fractions or percentages.
Example: To set the maximum width of the third column to 20 characters:
- Do not perform HTML escape sequences on the data; this allows embedded HTML text in the
data to be displayed properly with the -html option.
- -attributes='attr1 attr2
Declare the table attributes, which are inserted into the
TABLE token. For
example, the option:
-attributes='BORDER=0 CELLSPACING=2 CELLPADDING=4'
would cause the following HTML:
<TABLE BORDER=0 CELLSPACING=2 CELLPADDING=4>
The default table attributes are:
<TABLE BORDER=1 CELLSPACING=1 CELLPADDING=1>
Set the HTML formats for the column titles. The -title_formats (or just -tf)
can be given multiple times, for each column, or formats for multiple columns can be given
on the same option separated by semi-colons "
Each fmtN can itself be multiple HTML items, separated by commas. Each HTML
element can be given either as an HTML token (eg: "
or as a plain name (eg: "
For example, here is a title format specification for three columns, where the first
column title should be bold italic, the second italic, and the third italic in a smaller
- The same as -title_formats but applies to the column data.
Define a mapping from column names, or indexes, to URLs to be inserted as <A HREF's>
around the values for the named columns. Each colN is a column name or index, and
each urlN is a string representing the URL to be inserted for the given column.
The URL text may contain these substitution strings:
%K - will be substituted with the current column name (or key).
%V - will be substituted with the current column value.
Multiple -url options may be given, if desired, rather than creating one long
argument for a single -url. For example:
showtable -d: -f1,6 -titles=Login,Homedir \
- Display some help to the user and quit.
If the input type is box, then vertical and horizontal box characters are removed
from the input stream, and blanks surrounding the vertical box characters are removed. The
vertical box characters (column separaters) are "
|" or "
The The horizontal box characters are "
+" and "
Morever, data wrapped within a column is recognized and parsed as one column value, by
recognizing the presence of a wrapping prefix or wrapping suffix character.
Currently, the wrapping prefix character is "<", and the wrapping suffix
character is ">".
An example of data wrapped within a column is given here. The table below has just two logical
rows of data; with both rows having data wrapped into multiple physical rows.
| Col 1 | Col 2 | Col 3 |
| This is>| Another>| Row 1,3>|
|< a cont>|< value. |<is also>|
|<inued >| |<long. |
|<value. | | |
|This is >| Item2-2 | Item2-3 |
When using the -list or -input=list options, either, or both, the input and
output may be in a "list" format, which is implemented using the following syntax:
Each row of data consists of one or more columns, and ends with a blank line.
Each column consists of a column name, followed by a colon ":",
followed by an optional, single space or tab, followed by the column value, on the same
Continuation lines of the previous column value consist of one or more space or tab
characters, a colon ":", one optional, single space or tab, followed by the
continuation value. In the example above, The second column value of the second row was
When using -html on data already containing HTML-formatted text, the -noescape
option should be used. By default, all input text is assumed not to be HTML-formatted,
and is escaped allowing embedded "<", ">" characters, if any, to be
- Data::ShowTable module
- Performs the actual output formatting.
Alan K. Stebbens firstname.lastname@example.org
- Currently, the box formatting characters are not configurable: '+' for the corners; '-'
and '|' for the tops and sides, respectively. In an ideal world, these things would be
- The continuation prefix and suffix characters, '<' and '>', respectively, are also
- When reading table input, any data ending with ">" will be
considered to be continued by the next row of data. To avoid this, use -input=simple.
- When selecting noncontiguous fields (ie: -f1,4>) without field names, the
default field names will be consecutively numbered from 1, which is counter-intuitive to
the original selection. To avoid this, name the fields using the -title=... option.