Other Table-Making Tools

While Datawrapper is a good choice for creating interactive tables with long content and sparklines, there are many other tools for making less complex tables to publish in print or online.

To quickly make a short static table, look to your preferred spreadsheet tool. For example, in Google Sheets you can lay out your table data and download it as a PDF document. Then use any image editor to convert the PDF to a PNG or JPG file and crop it to size, then insert the final version in a static document or a web page. Also, remember the spreadsheet pivot table feature you learned in Chapter 3 to create a more sophisticated cross-tabulation, and export it as an image to insert in a document or website.

In Datawrapper, you can also create a simple static table as a Chart type, and publish it to download the PNG version.

In Google Sheets, you can can also publish any of your tables online, and embed them on a web page as we’ll discuss in Chapter 10, so that whenever you update your Google Sheet, the current data will automatically appear on the web page.

In Tableau Public, a tool we previously introduced in Chapter 7 and Chapter 8, you can also create a highlight table, which automatically colors the backgrounds of cells to draw your eye to higher versus lower values.

Finally, if you’re designing tables primarily for web pages, consider using the online Tables Generator tool, which converts tabular content into HTML and other formats.

Summary

In this chapter, we reviewed principles about table design, and how to create an interactive table with sparklines using Datawrapper, as well as other tools. In the next chapter, you’ll learn how to embed interactive charts, maps, and tables on your website so that readers can explore your data and engage with your stories.