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Extract Innermost Nested Table from HTML Source Code

Posted on 2007-03-18
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Last Modified: 2013-12-13
I have a large collection of html pages, all having html tables that I need to extract.  Some of the pages have a single table. Others have nested tables, up to four layers.
  1) If the file has only 1 table, I need to extract that table into a variable (I know I could do something like http:Q_21758443.html or by using preg_match); but
  2) If the file has nested tables, I need only the innermost table.
    In other words, no matter whether the html file has only 1 table, or nested tables, it should always extract the innermost table.  How is this done?
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Question by:Randall-B
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richdiesal earned 500 total points
ID: 18744403
This seems a little simplistic, but it may get you where you want to go.  Also keep in mind that it won't work appropriately if you have multiple nested tables on any page.  That's an altogether different beast.  The HTML inside $content is a 3-deep nested table, with final value of $lasttable: '<tr><td>Hello PHP</td></tr>':

$content = "<html>
<head>
</head>
<body>
<table><tr><td>Hello World</td></tr>
<tr><td><table><tr><td>Hello c#</td></tr>
<tr><td><table><tr><td>Hello PHP</td></tr></table>
</td></tr></table>
</td></tr></table>
</body>
</html>";

$array = explode("<table>",$content);
$lasttable_raw = end($array);
$junk_data_starts = strpos($lasttable_raw,"</table>");
$lasttable = substr($lasttable_raw, 0, $junk_data_starts);

echo $lasttable;
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Author Comment

by:Randall-B
ID: 18745160
richdiesal,
   Great.  At first I couldn't figure out why it wasn't working with some of my real files. Then I discovered that some do not have plain <table> tags; some have more complicated tags like <table width="100%">, etc.  So I started out with:

    $fileContent = preg_replace('/<table(.*?)>/', '<table>', $fileContent);

It seems to work great.  I would call your code elegant.  Thanks.
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