Documents to download

This guide is is a mixture of firm ‘rules’ we should stick to alongside more general guidance on what would be a good starting point for your table and examples of different possible options where simple ‘rules’ are not enough.

The guiding principle behind this guidance is that you should think about the audience for your table and make it as useful for them as possible. If this really means breaking some of the ‘rules’ in this guidance then, as Orwell said “Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous ”.

The guidance looks at the things you need to consider when putting together an effective statistical table, regardless of the stylistic elements -typeface font size, colour, shading, lines etc. It focuses on principles that should apply to all tables and therefore applicable to any style. The examples and illustrations in this guidance all use the Library’s new 2020 style.

 It starts with a broad definition of different types of tables, sets out some basic rules to follow before looking at ‘layering and separation’ or how to set out a more complicated table as clearly as possible. This last section is mainly in the form of different visual examples to follow and/or inspire you.

Documents to download

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