Table Cloth

Table Cloth gives you an easy to use DSL for creating and rendering tables in rails.

The primary goal of Table Cloth is to remove the complexity that usually comes with making tables with dynamic content. HTML Tables frequently can get out of hand when you start to add conditionals, removing columns, etc..

Follow me! @robertoross

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Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'table_cloth'

And then execute:

$ bundle


Table Cloth can use defined tables in app/tables or you can build them on the fly.

Table models can be generated using rails generators.

$ rails g table User

It will make this:

class UserTable < TableCloth::Base
  # Define columns with the #column method
  # column :name, :email

  # Columns can be provided a block
  # column :name do |object|
  # end
  # Columns can also have conditionals if you want.
  # The conditions are checked against the table's methods.
  # As a convience, the table has a #view method which will return the current view context.
  # This gives you access to current user, params, etc...
  # column :email, if: :admin?
  # def admin?
  #   view.current_user.admin?
  # end
  # Actions give you the ability to create a column for any actions you'd like to provide.
  # Pass a block with an arity of 2, (object, view context).
  # You can add as many actions as you want.
  # actions do
  #   action {|object| link_to "Edit", edit_object_path(object) }
  # end

Go ahead and modify it to suit your needs, pick the columns, conditions, actions, etc...

In your view, you would then use this code:

<%= simple_table_for @users, with: UserTable %>

Or if you want more customization:

<%= simple_table_for @users do |t| %>
  <% t.column :name %>
  <% t.column :email %>
  <% t.actions do %>
    <% action {|user| link_to "View", user } %>
  <% end %>
<% end %>


You can create your own column by making a class that responds to .value(object, view)

class ImageColumn < TableCloth::Column
  def value(object, view, table)

In your table:

<%= simple_table_for @users do |table| %>
  <% table.column :name %>
  <% table.column :image, using: ImageColumn %>
<% end %>


You can add HTML attributes to all rows by passing in a hash.

class UserTable < DefaultTable
  row_attributes class: "danger", name: "user-table-row"

  column :name

Which would render something like

<tr class="danger" name="user-table-row"><td>dangerous-john</td></tr>
<tr class="danger" name="user-table-row"><td>totally-safe-bridgette</td></tr>

Or you can generate attributes for each row by passing in a block that is evaluated each time a row is created. This block must return a hash of attributes.

class UserTable < DefaultTable
  row_attributes do |user|
     css_class = user.is_dangerous? ? "danger" : ""
    {class: css_class, name: "#{}-row"}

  column :name

which would render something like

<tr class="danger" name="dangerous-john-row"><td>dangerous-john</td></tr>
<tr class="" name="totally-safe-bridgette-row"><td>totally-safe-bridgette</td></tr>


A lot of tables have an actions column to give you the full CRUD effect. They can be painful but Table Cloth incorporates a way to easily add them to your definition:

class UserTable < TableCloth::Base
  column :name

  actions do
    action {|object| link_to 'View', object }
    action(if: :admin?) {|object| link_to 'Delete', object, method: :delete }

  def admin?


Create an initializer called table_cloth.rb

It should look like this:

TableCloth::Configuration.configure do |config|
  config.table.class = 'table table-bordered'
  config.thead.class = ''
  config.tbody.class = '' ='' ='' =''

You can also configure specific tables separately:

class UserTable < TableCloth::Base
  column :name, :email

  actions do
    action {|object| link_to "Edit", edit_object_path(object) }

  config.table.class = ''
  config.thead.class = ''    = ''
  config.tbody.class = ''    = ''    = ''

You can set any value on table element configurations. For example:

config.table.cellpadding = 1 = 'top'

You also have the option to specify options on a specific column with the td_options key.

class UserTable < TableCloth::Base
  column :name, td_options: { class: "awesome-column" }

Table header (th) elements can be configured in a similar fashion with the th_options key.

Not good enough? Fine... you can do row / column specific config as well for a TD.

class UserTable < TableCloth::Base
  column :name do |user|
    [, {class: "#{user.type}-user"}]

This would render something alow the lines of:

<td class="admin-user">Robert Ross</td>


  • TableCloth was built during my open source time at philosophie


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  5. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create new Pull Request