Metanorma: Aequitate Verum


Tables are a useful tool to collect and display measured data. As AsciiDoc is all text input, it uses specific symbols to determine where new table rows and columns begin. A simple table looks like this:

[cols="1,1"] (1)
.A table with a title (2)
|=== (3)
|Cell in column 1, header row |Cell in column 2, header row (4)

|Cell in column 1, row 2
|Cell in column 2, row 2 (5)
|=== (6)
  1. Attribute that specifies the table. cols=”x,x” tells the compiler that there are two columns. [cols="1,1"] The numbers specify the amount of spacing. For example, [cols="4,2,4"] would define three columns. The first and last column’s width would be four times the relative width and the middle column would be half as broad. This attribute is optional. NOTE: In typical AsciiDoc, [cols="3"] is considered a shorthand to [cols="1,1,1"], but this is not supported in Metanorma AsciiDoc.

  2. You can add a table title by beginning the line with a dot .. Make sure that there is no space between the dot and the first word of the heading.

  3. Starting delimiter |===

  4. The first line after the delimiter is the header row. To add a column, add a vertical bar | before the text that should be in the column.

  5. When you use the [cols] attribute, columns in the same row can appear on different lines of AsciiDoc text; otherwise, they need to all be on the same line of text, like in <4>.

  6. Closing delimiter |===

Practice time

The code for this exercise is available on GitHub.

The corresponding file is named exercise-2-3-3.adoc

Let’s compare rice against wheat in a table:

  • Create an empty three column table with five rows.

  • Add a table title: Namespace conventions.

  • Use the cols attribute to specify the ratio between the colums. Let’s set the ratio to 2:3:4 so that the URI and Description rows are larger than the first row.

  • Populate the table like this:

Table 1. Namespace conventions


Namespace URI



OWS Common 2.0 XML Schema


Definitions for XLINK


XML (required for xml:lang)


XML Schema


The structure for a three column table looks like this:


Let’s look at inserting images next.