[Fwd: Re: readability of table formats]

Subject: [Fwd: Re: readability of table formats]
From: Dick Margulis <ampersandvirgule -at- WORLDNET -dot- ATT -dot- NET>
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 1999 16:45:57 -0400

Edward Tufte's books will get you a long way in the right
direction for readability.

Personally, I've never had to stray far from Chicago
style, which is well thought out and based on long
experience. The whole idea of shading in tables, with all
vertical and horizontal rules visible, gives me the

The default table styles of any word processing or DTP
software I've ever seen is positively detestable, by the
way. Just because Adobe knows a lot about type doesn't
mean their table utilities are designed with intelligent
defaults. And Word is . . . well, it's Word, after all.


> Can someone point me to readability info on table formats? I've got half a
> dozen people making suggestions on the format of my tables, all of whom
> claim to have readability studies behind them. However, they can't seem to
> specify where the info comes from. I'd like to read some readability
> studies for myself. Some of the issues:
> o when to use alternate shading for lines in a table
> o to use or not to use column borders
> o right or left justify titles that appear along the Y axis
> Kimberly Cakebread

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