RE: Tables and Figures. Why not call them both illustrations?

Subject: RE: Tables and Figures. Why not call them both illustrations?
From: George Mena <George -dot- Mena -at- esstech -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2003 14:11:42 -0700


Diane,

Strictly speaking, tables and figures are separate entities.

Figures are almost exclusively the domain of graphic art and graphic art
files created in the bitmap or vector editor of your choice.

Tables are home to tabular data, such as minimum and maximum voltages,
industry specifications a widget must be in compliance with, and other data
that is otherwise too cumbersome to develop regular text for.

In the semiconductor industry in particular, figures and tables for an IC's
electrical performance characteristics are mandatory. The graphics portion
of a figure depicting Row Address Strobe timing for a DRAM chip, for
example, will include eye patterns (aka waveforms) indicating a change in
the signal level. When a signal like tRAS goes active-high or active-low,
for example, the change is depicted graphically by either a rise or fall of
the signal as it appears on an oscilloscope or signal analyzer. This graphic
information is essential to a system designer, as is the time interval,
usually in nanoseconds, that tells the designer how long the specific signal
condition is supposed to exist before returning to its previous state.

In a nutshell, it's a Big Deal because any document can always have more
tables than figures, and vice versa. And most documents do have either more
tables than figures, or more figures than tables.

Hope this helps,

George

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