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I've received an email with an embedded table. I want to put some marks inside that table (i.e., edit the content of the table) and send it back.

Unfortunately, the Gmail interface doesn't seem to have table editing capabilities: after I hit reply, I see the table in the quoted text of the original message, but is not editable...

If this is not possible in Gmail, how do I export the HTML source of this messsage and edit in another installed word processor?

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migrated from superuser.com Nov 25 '11 at 19:33

This question came from our site for computer enthusiasts and power users.

Are you sure it IS a table? I mean, some e-mail clients (v.g. Notes) will let you Copy&Paste from, say, Excel, but the paste is just an image and not editable (even in origin). – SJuan76 Nov 25 '11 at 9:20
@SJuan76: Thanks for the hint, it felt really like it was an image! I'll check that. If so, then my goal is not achievable in a reasonable way. And it's true that the email originates from Lotus Notes. Hmm, Lotus Notes is dumb then, we do not want tables as images!.. – imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Nov 25 '11 at 9:29

I can confirm that Gmail does allow you to send tables, but provide very limited editing support.

What I would do is to copy the whole e-mail into an online HTML editor like TinyMCE and do the editing there. You can also copy it a local tool that supports HTML editing, like Word or Dreamweaver.

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I tried to select the table inside the browser and copy it into OpenOffice, but only a single item appeared in OpenOffice instead of the real table... (Ctrl-Ins, Shift-Ins in X.org on Linux.) – imz -- Ivan Zakharyaschev Nov 25 '11 at 9:49
You have to copy the whole table. The easiest way to do this is to include texts before and after the table in the selection. Also, try to keep everything in the browser, so you won't face inter-program compatibility problems (that's why I suggest the TinyMCE editor). – billc.cn Nov 25 '11 at 9:52
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Probably, the way to go would be

  • either to use the built-in facilities for editing tables in the Gmail interface (which are actually present, according to the answer by billc.cn),
  • or try to copy the table by selectiing and pasting it into another editor (as suggested by the answer by billc.cn),
  • or press button "show original" and copy the (unfortunately, escaped/encoded) HTML source,
  • or [press button "create a document" (enabled in "Google Labs" parameters)] and work with that document in Google Docs (or export it)](http://webapps.stackexchange.com/q/1642/15124),
  • or acccess the mailbox via IMAP to save the HTML source of the message (which is the sanest way, but requires more set-up),

unless it were an image in my case (created by that crazy Lotus Notes), no real data -- as SJuan76 has correctly guessed! The source shown by "Show original" in GMail reads:

<FONT face=3D"Default Sans Serif,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif" size=
=3D2><div><br></div><font color=3D"#990099">----- =F0=C5=D2=C5=D3=CC=C1=CE=
=CF =CF=D4 A&amp;B Company/ab-com =CB 11.24.2011 09:24 PM -----<br><br><=
/font><blockquote style=3D"padding-right:0px;padding-left:5px;margin-left:5=
px;border-left:#000000 2px solid;margin-right:0px">=EB=CF=CD=D5: A&amp;B Co=
mpany &lt;zahar@example.com&gt;<br>=EF=D4: A&amp;B Company/ab-com<br>=
=E4=C1=D4=C1: 11.24.2011 02:08 PM<br>=F4=C5=CD=C1: =D3=D0=C9=D3=CF=CB =C4=
=CC=D1 =D0=CF=DA=C4=D2=C1=D7=CC=C5=CE=C9=CA. =DE=C1=D3=D4=D81 (=C1-=DA)<br>=
<br><img src=3D"cid:=5F1=5F0652CFAC0652CE5C003C3D3444257952" >=0D=0D</block=

(Note the IMG tag! :-( )

In this case, ask the sender to send you the table in the source formal (perhaps, .xls), if he wants you to send an edited version back.

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