Grid and bear it.
Drawing programs use grids to guide design. Word processors and slideshow editors have table widgets for laying out custom tabular data. In most apps there are datagrids for scrolling through rows of data with the same fields. And of course there is the modern spreadsheet, Excel and it clones, that is an entire user experience based on manipulating grid data.
The grid widget we are rolling out in Tulip is our first step towards building what we think of as an ‘app building grid’. This version allows for the formatting and layout options you would expect: merging cells, custom text styles, etc. It works great for setting up the kinds of tables you have made when you made paper based work instructions.
The big level up will be when we add support for specifying other kinds of cell content: media, other widgets, and variables that can be rendered parametrically. We’re working on that now, and looking forward to hearing about how you might use this widget to help us make it awesome.