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Table Preparation

Tables published in the AJA must adhere to the formatting guidelines outlined below. Authors should also refer to recent print-published tables for presentation style. The AJA reserves the right to ask for revisions to tables to accord with these guidelines.

The AJA accepts tables submitted in MS Word only. Tables should provide new information, not duplicate text, and should be cited in numerical order in the text.

Tables should be presented on a maximum of one published page, which equates to 35 one-line rows and approximately five short (15–20 characters) columns in MS Word (fewer rows if there are several table footnotes). Longer or complex tables should be submitted as Supplementary Content.

Table Format

Tables should be prepared using the MS Word table tool (i.e., rows and columns should not be approximated with tabs and spaces). A roman font should be used; italic and bold should not be used for emphasis. All sections of tables should be double-spaced. Cells should not break across multiple rows or columns (except in the cases of multi-level headings or cut-in heads; see below for details). 

No cells should be left blank; a dash is used to indicate no data or information is available.

Table Titles

Titles should identify the table as briefly as possible. Titles should not contain explanatory material; this should be placed in a “Note” at the bottom of the table.

Column Headings

Headings should be as brief as possible and should include any necessary symbols (%, $, etc.) or measurement abbreviations (m, cm, kg, etc.) that apply to the data in the column below. Any measurement abbreviations should conform to AJA style. Headings may have several levels, with horizontal rules separating the levels (see example A).


AJA tables use horizontal lines only. All tables should have the following three horizontal lines:

  1. One under the title, above the column headings.
  2. One between the column headings and the body of the table.
  3. One at the bottom of the table.

In addition, tables MAY have the following horizontal lines, as needed:

  1. To separate levels when there is more than one level of column heading.
  2. To separate a column of numbers that is being added from its total (see example B).
  3. To delineate “cut-in” heads in the body of a table (see “cut-in heads” below).

Stub Column

Stub-column (the leftmost column) entries should be as brief as possible and can be layered (see example C). Note the use of indentations to differentiate the various layers. Stub column entries and subentries should be confined to one column. Data in columns to the right of the stub column should be in the same row as the stub column entry. Stub column entries should not run across into the body of the table. If necessary, the entries are broken and runover lines are indented.

Cut-In Heads

Cut-in heads are used when the contents of columns change (i.e., when new labels are needed for the data in the columns). This is the only circumstance in which headings should appear in the body of the table (see example A). 

Rules are used above and below cut-in heads. As with headings at the top of a table, cut-in heads may have more than one level.

Total Rule

A total rule is to be used only when there is a total that is actually the SUM of the numbers in a column. It is not to be used for averages, means, or other numbers that may summarize the data in a column, but that are not totals (see example B).

Table Body

Wherever possible, the body of the table should be free of symbols (%, $, etc.) or measurement abbreviations (m, cm, kg, etc.). Symbols should appear in the column head when they apply to all values in the column, or in the stub column when they apply to all values in the row. Sometimes they can even be placed at the end of the table title, if they apply to all of the data within the table.


AJA tables may include a general explanatory “Note” containing useful information about the table as a whole. Only one such note should be used; there may be multiple pieces of information in the same note (see example D). 

Notes pertaining to specific parts of the table should be labeled a, b, c, etc., in superscript. The note markers should be ordered in the body of the table from left to right, top to bottom, and the corresponding footnotes should be placed below the general table note.

All notes end with a period, even if they are not complete sentences.