Zend\Text\Table is a component to create text based tables on the fly with different decorators. This can be helpful, if you either want to send structured data in text emails, which are used to have mono-spaced fonts, or to display table information in a CLI application. Zend\Text\Table supports multi-line columns, colspan and align as well.



Zend\Text\Table expects your strings to be UTF-8 encoded by default. If this is not the case, you can either supply the character encoding as a parameter to the constructor() or the setContent() method of Zend\Text\Table\Column. Alternatively if you have a different encoding in the entire process, you can define the standard input charset with Zend\Text\Table\Table::setInputCharset($charset). In case you need another output charset for the table, you can set this with Zend\Text\Table\Table::setOutputCharset($charset).

A Zend\Text\Table\Table object consists of rows, which contain columns, represented by Zend\Text\Table\Row and Zend\Text\Table\Column. When creating a table, you can supply an array with options for the table. Those are:

  • columnWidths (required): An array defining all columns width their widths in characters.

  • decorator: The decorator to use for the table borders. The default is unicode, but you may also specify ascii or give an instance of a custom decorator object.

  • padding: The left and right padding withing the columns in characters. The default padding is zero.

  • AutoSeparate: The way how the rows are separated with horizontal lines. The default is a separation between all rows. This is defined as a bitmask containing one ore more of the following constants of Zend\Text\Table:

    • Zend\Text\Table\Table::AUTO_SEPARATE_NONE
    • Zend\Text\Table\Table::AUTO_SEPARATE_HEADER
    • Zend\Text\Table\Table::AUTO_SEPARATE_FOOTER
    • Zend\Text\Table\Table::AUTO_SEPARATE_ALL

    Where header is always the first row, and the footer is always the last row.

Rows are simply added to the table by creating a new instance of Zend\Text\Table\Row, and appending it to the table via the appendRow() method. Rows themselves have no options. You can also give an array to directly to the appendRow() method, which then will automatically converted to a row object, containing multiple column objects.

The same way you can add columns to the rows. Create a new instance of Zend\Text\Table\Column and then either set the column options in the constructor or later with the set*() methods. The first parameter is the content of the column which may have multiple lines, which in the best case are separated by just the ‘\n’ character. The second parameter defines the align, which is ‘left’ by default and can be one of the class constants of Zend\Text\Table\Column:


The third parameter is the colspan of the column. For example, when you choose “2” as colspan, the column will span over two columns of the table. The last parameter defines the encoding of the content, which should be supplied, if the content is neither ASCII nor UTF-8. To append the column to the row, you simply call appendColumn() in your row object with the column object as parameter. Alternatively you can directly give a string to the appendColumn() method.

To finally render the table, you can either use the render() method of the table, or use the magic method __toString() by doing echo $table; or $tableString = (string) $table.

Basic Usage

This example illustrates the basic use of Zend\Text\Table to create a simple table:

$table = new Zend\Text\Table\Table(array('columnWidths' => array(10, 20)));

// Either simple
$table->appendRow(array('Zend', 'Framework'));

// Or verbose
$row = new Zend\Text\Table\Row();

$row->appendColumn(new Zend\Text\Table\Column('Zend'));
$row->appendColumn(new Zend\Text\Table\Column('Framework'));


echo $table;

This will result in the following output:

│Zend      │Framework           │
│Zend      │Framework           │

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