Buddy & Me: What Else Can We Put in a Table?

I admit it: I like words. But as a proposal editor, I am often required to cut, delete, remove, and otherwise get rid of extraneous words. Sometimes it’s for clarity. Sometimes it’s for punch. Sometimes it’s to meet a page limit.

I also admit that I sometimes get my head down scrunching text when what’s needed — for clarity, for punch, and for page-limit compliance — is a different approach entirely. I detest contrived graphics and hate tables with paragraphs of text stuffed into them, but a good graphic or table is often the right way to go:

  • If you’re writing, think before you start about graphical and tabular options and save everybody, including you, a lot of aggravation
  • If you’re editing (especially if you’re having to reduce the length), look first for graphical and tabular ways to present information before tackling the words themselves

While we’re on the subject, if the RFP sets minimum font size at anything larger than a 10, respectfully (but immediately) request a change. Text in tables needs to be smaller than the legibility limit for paragraphs. Overly large font negates the get-it-at-a-glance factor that is one of the main values that tables bring.

Buddy& Me: What Else Can We Put in a Table?