Thursday, August 11, 2016

Design Better Data Tables

Not all numbers were created equal. I’m not talking about π and ∞ (though I often do, at parties); I’m talking about numbers that are either tabular or oldstyle, either lining or proportional.

Here’s a quick illustration of the difference between oldstyle and lining figures.

Oldstyle figures look nice in sentences, where they better match the size and spacing of lower-case letters; lining figures are more uniform, and reinforce the grid-like structure of the table.

The difference between proportional and tabular figures is not quite so obvious:

Proportional figures are designed to match the color — that is, the general sizing and spacing — of the typeface. Tabularfigures, on the other hand, are all identically-sized, so that columns of numbers line up properly. While the difference may not seem great on the scale of one or two lines, using lining figures makes scanning large tables significantly easier and less error-prone.

- More Here

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