How to fix table layouts

In Alto, when working with large, complex table layouts, they may occasionally break and display incorrectly. This may occur particularly in ASTs (Assured Shorthold Tenancies) and Terms of Business.

There are four reasons as to why this generally happens:

  • The table is too large and spans two pages
  • The widths of the table data cells are inconsistent*
    • Table widths should be set to 100% if they are meant to be full page
    • The sum of all the widths on a table row must equal 100%
    • If the first two columns are set to 5%. Alto will then auto calculate the width of the remaining column
  • <Colspan> tags caused by the merging of table cells can also sometimes cause tables to break
  • Conflicting html usually between <td><span> and <div> tags

*If the sum of the widths on a table row equal less than 100%, or more than 100%, this can cause the table to break as they don't equal 100%. This can happen when merging cells that have a percentage width as the merged cell inherits the width. To avoid this problem, always remove the width before merging, then apply widths to the cell if needed.

To fix such an issue, you should first identify where the break happens and take a screenshot.


In the image above, it's clear the table is breaking at point 3.6

To fix the break in the table:

  1. Copy the entire table where the break is happening and Paste it after the broken table
  2. Now that you have two tables, Highlight and Delete all the rows in the first table after the equivalent of point 3.5


  3. Highlight and Delete all the rows in the second table before the equivalent of point 3.6


  4. Insert a #page_break# between the table that has now been split


  5. The final table when fixed should then look similar to the image below


Tables can be fixed in two ways:

  • Splitting them at the cell
  • Splitting them at the word

It depends on the type of document as to what type of split is required. Tables with large cells with plenty of text would require splitting at the word for a seamless flow.

In the image below, the table appears to be broken at the highlighted line and so the split would need to be at the word waters.


The highlighted text is then removed, and a page break inserted.


The below image shows the final table flowing seamlessly into the next page.


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