What to do if NodeXL's tables don't "auto-expand"

May 10, 2011 at 6:09 AM
Edited May 10, 2011 at 6:11 AM

NodeXL uses Excel tables to store edge, vertex and other graph information.  A table is distinguished by colored column headers that have a down-arrow in their cells, along with colored data rows.

You may want to add your own columns to one of NodeXL's tables.  To do this, type a column name into the first empty cell in the header row, which is row 2.  Excel is supposed to automatically make the new column a part of the table.  If that doesn't happen, it's because you have Excel's "auto-expand" feature turned off.  To turn it on, do the following:

1. Click the round Office button in Excel's upper-left corner.

2. Select Excel Options, Proofing, AutoCorrect Options.

3. In the AutoCorrect dialog box, click the AutoFormat As You Type tab.

4. Check "Include new rows and columns in table" and "Fill formulas in tables to create calculated columns."

 -- Tony

May 28, 2012 at 3:00 PM

Hi Tony,

I've been having a problem with this -- I enter the columns I wish to create in the Add Your Own Columns Here column, as the hover directions indicate, but the table doesn't auto-extend. I followed the four steps listed above but the problem persists. (The two items were actually already checked when I went to the AutoCorrect dialog box.)

Any thoughts?



May 28, 2012 at 10:25 PM


Let's determine if the problem is in Excel or in NodeXL.  Try this, which will create a simple Excel table:

1. Create a blank Excel workbook, NOT a NodeXL workbook.

2. Enter text (any text) in cells A1, B1, A2 and B2.

3. Select cells A1, B1, A2 and B2.

4. In the ribbon, select Insert, Tables, Table.

5. In the Create Table dialog box, check "My table has headers."

6. Click OK.  You now have a table.

7. Enter text in cell C1.  Does a new column get added to the table?

-- Tony


May 29, 2012 at 12:14 AM

Yes, it does.

May 29, 2012 at 12:22 AM

Okay, then try this:

1. Create a blank NodeXL workbook.

2. Enter text (any text) into the cell to the right of the "Add Your Own Columns Here" cell on the Edges worksheet.  In the most recent version of NodeXL, that would be cell O2.  Does a new column get added to the table?

-- Tony

May 29, 2012 at 11:16 AM

Hey Tony,

Thanks, yes it does. And the problem is fixed now -- I had misunderstood the hover directions. The problem was that I somehow read "cell 2" but thought "cell 3," so instead of creating a new column at the far right by putting the column header name in cell 2, I put the new column name in cell 3, directly below the "Add Your Own Columns Here," assuming this column would both serve as an index and generate new columns on the far right of the table. Which didn't happen.

Anyway, walking through it with you made me realize my error. And now I have my new columns. Thank you very much for your help!