Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Formatting Tables


In this lab, you follow directions for creating tables using your preferred word-processing software:
  1. For each item, create the title, column headings and subheadings, row headings, and data cells according to the instructions.
  2. Review the steps for creating tables in Chapter 10 of Processes in Technical Communication as necessary.
  3. Either show your instructor your completed work; or put your name, Tables: Print, and the date on this document, and print it out for your instructor.


  1. Create a three-column table using most of the text below. Use the words "Problem," "Cause," and "Remedy" as the column headings. Create six rows below these headings with a problem, cause, and remedy for each row. No table title is needed. Left-align all cells in the table; use bold on the column headings.

    If you believe your stereo system is malfunctioning, check the table below to see if you can correct the problem. If you are unsuccessful, contact your nearest Pioneer authorized dealer, or the place of purchase. A loud noise is produced, or play stops. The disc has a bad scratch or bad warp, or the disc is extremely dirty. Remove the damaged disc or clean the dirty disc. Playback/recording stops immediately. The disc is loaded upside down, or the disc has smudges. Load the disc with the label face down, or clean the smudges from the disk. The cassette door will not open. The cassette deck is not in the stop mode, or power was turned off while the tape was moving. Press the stop button or turn the power on. The cassette door will not close. The cassette is not loaded properly. Turn the cassette over and reinsert. The recording indicator light does not light. The erasure prevention tabs have been removed. Cover the hole with a piece of tape where the erasure prevention tabs were removed, or replace with a new cassette tape. The tape cannot be recorded. The tape heads are dirty. Clean the tape heads with a cotton swab and alcohol.

  2. Create a four-column table with the following title as the top row spanning all four rows: "Table 1 Comparison of three brand name treadmills." Make the title bold. Create the following column heads in the next row: Features, Nordic Trac, APEX 6106, and Sports Art 3100-HR. In the first main data row, include the following: Motor, 3.0 CHP, 2.0 CHP, 2.7 CHP. In the next row: Frame, Steel, Steel, Steel. In the next row: Speed range, 0 10 mph, 0 11 mph, 0 11mph. In the next row: Incline, 0 12%, 0 - 15%, 0 12%. In the next row: Belt thickness, 2-ply, 4-ply, 2-ply. In the next row: Belt size, 20"x60", 30"x55", 20"x57". In the next row: Storage, Space Saver design, Non-foldable, Non-foldable. In the next row: Program variety, 31 programs, 8 programs, 5 programs. In the next row: Weight capacity, 300 lbs, 300 lbs, 325 lbs. In the final row: Cushioning, Dura Soft, Cushioning, and Shock Dissipation System. Use bold or italics for the column headings; consider using italics for row headings (first column). Left-align all cells except for the title.

  3. Create a four-column table with the following title as the top row spanning all four rows: "Table 1 Comparisons of HTML Editors." Center and bold this title as the top row spanning all four columns. For the column-headings row: Category, FrontPage, Hot Dog Pro, and Dreamweaver. For the next row: Availability, 3, 1, 1. For the next row: Requirements, 1, 1, 1. For the next row: Customer Service, 3, 1, 2. For the next row: Cost, 2, 1, 3. For the next row: Help Feature, 3, 2, 1. For the next row: Ease of use, 2, 1, 1. For the next row: Features, 3, 2, 1. For the last row: Overall Rating, 3, 1, 2. Place a superscript footnote "1" just after the table title (but not bold). Just below the table, create a footnote with this text: Note: 1=best, 2=second best, 3=third best. Make this text at least 1 point smaller than the text in the table.

  4. Create a six-column table which contains subcolumns. Use the top row for the title; this row should span all six column; and the title should be bold and centered and contain the following text: Table 2. Comparison of HP DeskJet Printer Graphics and Text Quality. The first column-heading row should contain three headings: Printer, Print Quality Score from CNET (spanning two columns, which themselves span two columns ach), and My Rating. The subcolumnsd for Print Quality Score from CNET should be Color Graphics and Text. The subcolumns for these should both be Plain Paper and Ink-jet or Coated Paper. The first data row should contain HP DeskJet 812C, excellent, excellent, good, excellent, A. HP DeskJet 895Cse, excellent, good, poor, poor, F. The next row: HP DeskJet 952C, excellent, good, fair, good, B. The next row: HP DeskJet 1120Cse, excellent, good, poor, poor, F. The next row: HP DeskJet 1220C, excellent, fair (but excellent w/photo paper), fair, good, B. The next row: HP 2000Cse, excellent, fair, fair, excellent, B. The last row: HP 2500C, good, good, excellent, excellent, A. Add a nonbolded superscript 1 to the table title and a footnote just below this table containing this source information: Carlson, Kyla K. "25 Color Printers Put to the Test." CNET.com. April 20, 1999. http://aolsvccompCNET.com/hardware/0-1063.html?tag=stbc.gp (10 July 2000).


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