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Format Tables


Tables must be created by using the Microsoft Word table tool, not by using tabs and spaces or in Microsoft Excel. Do not use any other program or tabs or spaces to align columns. Number tables consecutively in the text; if an article has only 1 table, do not number it. Tables may not be separated into subdivisions (Table 1A and Table 1B); instead, split into 2 tables. References in tables are ordered according to the first citation of the table in text.

Table Formatting

Tables are set in 8-point Arial font and may be no wider than 17 cm. Tables that exceed maximum width should be truncated or included for online publication only.

Tables should be arranged with like data (e.g., organism name, antibody titer) in columns. If a table cell contains text, only the first word should begin with a capital letter. Horizontal rules are used to set off column heads. If necessary for readability, horizontal rules may also be used to group categories of information within the body of the table. Vertical rules are never used, and tables are never displayed in landscape (sideways) orientation.

Table Titles

Table titles should be brief but self-explanatory. Place the title above, not below, the table. Capitalize the first letter of the title and do not include a period at the end. Titles should contain enough information to stand alone (e.g., populations, dates, locations) but should not repeat information in column or row heads. Avoid using abbreviations in titles, but when necessary to do so, explain abbreviation in a footnote, not in the title.

Table Headers

Use abbreviations as needed for space (see below). Capitalize only the first word of each column header. Capitalize the first word after a symbol.

Abbreviations in Tables

Tables should be self-explanatory; therefore, spell out terms even if they have been introduced in the text. Terms may be abbreviated within the table and defined in a footnote; all abbreviated terms may be defined in the same footnote. Also explain any use of boldface in a footnote.

M and F do not need to be defined when used to mean male and female.

Use no. (%).

Use no. patients

Do not use virgules; e.g., NA, ND, not N/A, N/D.


Use the following symbols in the order shown to indicate footnotes:

*, †, ‡, §, ¶, #.  If the table requires >6 footnotes, use double (e.g., **, ††) symbols. No space is used between a footnote symbol and the footnote. Place a period at the end of each footnote.

Units of Measure in Tables

Units should not be repeated in every cell but should be noted once in the column head. Use SI units or other common units of measure.

Weight during treatment, kg


Figures should be submitted for review as high-resolution (600 dots per inch [dpi]) TIFF or JPEG files. Be prepared to submit final figures in the native, editable format (e.g., Excel files for figures created in Microsoft Excel) during production editing (after the article has been accepted for publication). Figure revisions may be required during review or production editing. Number figures consecutively in the text; if an article has only 1 figure, do not number it. References in figures are ordered according to the first citation of the figure in text. Submit multiple panels as individual files. Place figure captions in manuscript after tables.

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Additional Information:

Manuscript Preparation: Tables
Formatting Figures
Units of Measure

Page created: February 04, 2010
Page updated: April 22, 2021
Page reviewed: April 22, 2021
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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