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Tables: Best Practices


This section provides ideas regarding how to use tables.  Also included are the general standards for tables, when they are used.  You are not required to use table

Why Use a Table?

Placing text or screenshots in tables makes it easier for you to control how the content displays on the page. 

  • Use a table to put text inside a bordered box, making the content stand out.

  • Use a table to prevent text from butting against screenshots or images, when text is placed next to them.

  • Use a table to display content in columns or rows, easily creating consistent spacing without fighting with HTML.



Text inside a bordered box:


The How do I get the full text of an article? Quick Answer is a good example of how to use a bordered box to organize a lot of information.

Text & Image Layout

While this looks like text with an image next to it, it is actually a two column table with no border. 


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Stack of books.



Display content in rows or columns

While this looks like text separated by tabs, this is actually a two column table with no border.

2013: Dr. Piroska Bisits Bullen

Public Health

2012: Dr. Christopher Hinnerichs

Public Health

2011: Dr. Vicky D. Woodruff

Health Services

2010: Dr. Carl Eckrode

Public Health

2009: Dr. Christopher Charles Plum

Education, K-12 Leadership

Cell Padding & Spacing

Cell padding is the distance text or other content is offset from the border of a cell.  Padding makes a table easier to read.

Cell spacing is the distance between cells.  This makes the lines between borders wider.


Border Settings in LibGuides

The border size setting controls the number of lines in the border (up to 2) and weight of border lines.   These are the standard borders used in Springshare products.


Border: 1

Cell Spacing: 0 

Note: You must change the cell spacing to 0 to get a solid border.



Border: 1

Cell Spacing: 1