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best practices table autofit

Explorer ,
May 14, 2015

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This question is about webhelp best design practices for tables.

  • Is there a guideline for selecting table options that work best with browser displays, printing, and usability?
  • We typically set tables to 100%, but are considering autofit. While 100% is consistent, "autofit to content" seems easier to read. If using both, when is "autofit to content" the best choice?


Would appreciate your experience in choosing options and user feedback.

Thank you

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best practices table autofit

Explorer ,
May 14, 2015

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RH11

This question is about webhelp best design practices for tables.

  • Is there a guideline for selecting table options that work best with browser displays, printing, and usability?
  • We typically set tables to 100%, but are considering autofit. While 100% is consistent, "autofit to content" seems easier to read. If using both, when is "autofit to content" the best choice?


Would appreciate your experience in choosing options and user feedback.

Thank you

TOPICS
WebHelp

Views

431

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May 14, 2015 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 14, 2015

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I tend to vary which I choose, depending on the content of the table and also the surrounding content. The judgement is partly aesthetic and partly usability.

For example, if I have a table with only a small amount of content I might choose autofit to content, as the extra white space caused by fit to width might look weird. Conversely, if there are several tables on a page, having them all different sizes might look weird, so I'd choose to make them all the same width, including column widths where possible.

Whether I set column widths depends on the content, and if I decide one column needs a width set, then I'll set widths for all the columns in the table. For example, if I have a description column, it is likely to have a lot of text. I would want to minimise the amount of wrapped text for that column and so set it to, say, 40%.  I'd then set widths for the other columns so the total of all columns is 100%. I can't remember why I do this; the reason is lost in the mists of time. Note that the column total will be 100%, even if the table itself is set to say 90% - the table is saying "give me 90% of the available topic width", whereas a 10% column is saying "give me 10% of the width inside the table boundary". Hope that makes sense.

These are all my opinions based on what I like, rather than any sort of studies. I also can't comment on print, as I haven't written for print for a long time - I'll sometimes print a few topics, just to make sure they aren't completely borked, but I don't do specific design for that output.

HTH

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May 14, 2015 0
Explorer ,
May 15, 2015

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Thank you, Amebr. That's just the information I hoped for, and appreciate

your time.

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May 15, 2015 0