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25.15.1 What is a Text-based Table?

A table consists of a rectangular text area which is divided into cells. Each cell must be at least one character wide and one character high, not counting its border lines. A cell can be subdivided into more cells, but they cannot overlap.

Cell border lines are drawn with three special characters, specified by the following variables:

table-cell-vertical-char

The character used for vertical lines. The default is ‘|’.

table-cell-horizontal-chars

The characters used for horizontal lines. The default is ‘'-='’.

table-cell-intersection-char

The character used for the intersection of horizontal and vertical lines. The default is ‘+’.

The following are examples of invalid tables:

   +-----+       +--+    +-++--+
   |     |       |  |    | ||  |
   |     |       |  |    | ||  |
   +--+  |    +--+--+    +-++--+
   |  |  |    |  |  |    +-++--+
   |  |  |    |  |  |    | ||  |
   +--+--+    +--+--+    +-++--+
      a          b          c

From left to right:

  1. Overlapped cells or non-rectangular cells are not allowed.
  2. The border must be rectangular.
  3. Cells must have a minimum width/height of one character.