Rules or white space for separating rows and columns?

Subject: Rules or white space for separating rows and columns?
From: "Milan Davidovic" <milan -dot- lists -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 2008 16:16:11 -0400

(a five-minute search of the archives didn't turn up a discussion on
this topic; if I missed one you know about, I'd appreciate a link --

>From Carolyn Rude, "Technical Editing" 2nd ed., p. 167:

"Vertical and horizontal lines (rules) separating rows and columns are
discouraged except for highly complex tables because the lines clutter
the table with visual noise. White space is the preferred method for
separating rows and columns. Too much space between columns, however,
may result in inaccurate reading because the eye may skip to a lower
or higher row."

Right now, I'm building a template in the shadow of legacy
documentation that is chock full of tables, almost all of which make
full use of rules to separate rows and columns; relatively few of
these tables are "complex". If I follow Rude's advice, I'm pretty sure
I'll experience some opposition.

Anyone here had such an experience?

Milan Davidovic

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