International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies
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Drafting IEC publications

 

 

Inserting tables in a document

When working with data that is best presented in form of a list or a table, please use MS Word's Table function. This ensures that rows and columns can be aligned and formatted in the most efficient way.

 

Do not use tab stops or, even worse, the space bar to align elements one beneath the other. This will make it very difficult for everyone working on the document afterwards. If you do not want table or cell borders, you can simply hide them.

 

To insert a table:

  • Word 2010/2007: Insert > Table
    Then select the number of rows and columns, either on the graphical grid that opens or by clicking Insert Table.
  • Word 2003/before: Table > Insert > Table
    Then select the number of rows and columns and click OK.

You can also convert a list of items into a table, provided the elements are always separated by the same separator, like a tab stop, a semicolon or any other symbol. Select the entire list, then:

  • Word 2010/2007: Insert > Table > Convert Text to Table
  • Word 2003/before: Table > Convert > Text to Table
    Then select the number of rows and columns and click OK.

Normally, the window that now opens shows the correct number of rows and columns required to convert the list to a table. If not, have a look at the symbol Word suggests as a separator and, if necessary, correct it.

 

Formatting text in a table

Please restrict the use of text formatting tools in a table to a minimum and use the styles from the IEC standard template wherever possible. This will avoid problems at the IEC formatting stage and ensure all IEC documents have a common look.

 

Specific styles exist for

  • table footnotes
  • text in a table aligned at the left table border
  • centered text
  • column headings
  • the table caption (or title)
table styles

 

Formatting a table

Word 2010/2007: The Table Tools with the Design and Layout tab contain all the formatting commands for a table. However, they will only display when the cursor is placed within the table or the table is selected.

 

Choose the borders for your table in the Design tab. As the layout of IEC tables is rather simple, avoid using the pre-designed table styles from this tab.

 

The Layout tab allows you to add or delete rows and columns, to merge and split cells and to access the Table Properties dialogue.

 

Word 2003/before: The commands to format a table are all in the Table menu.

 

If you have specific questions about the formatting of tables, please contact us.

 

 

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