Corporate document


Keep tables simple with a clear structure.

Make sure a screenreader will not have problems navigating the table. Using the tab key on your keyboard you should be able to smoothly tab through the table from cell to cell, starting in the top left cell and ending in the bottom right cell.

Do not use split or merged cells or nested tables (a table within a table).

If your table is complex, check with the digital publishing team. They can do a test version to show how it will look on the website.

Alt text

Use alt (alternative) text in table properties in Word to add description to tables. Right click on the table and select 'properties' and 'alt text'. Alt text means someone using a screenreader can quickly understand what the table is showing and skip it if they want to.

Alt text should describe what the table is showing. We've given some suggested wording in the examples section.


Use the table styles in the NICE template you are using.

Use numerals and align numbers to the right. Add an en dash if you do not have any data in a cell, rather than leaving the cell blank.

Use a header row and set it to repeat across pages if you're creating a document. In table properties, ensure that 'allow rows to break across pages' is unchecked.

Do not use shading or dotted lines to define sections within a table.

Abbreviations and footnotes

Define all abbreviations used in the table underneath the table, unless the abbreviation has been used many times in the text (for example, HCV in hepatitis C guidance). See table 9 for an example.

Do not use footnotes to explain exceptions or highlight particular aspects, but instead explain underneath the table, as in table 8.


Table 8 Number of people with adverse effects on day 14 of the study

(Alt text: The number of people treated with placebo, Y, or X and Y who had nausea, local irritation, or who left the study because of adverse effects.)

Group (200 people in each group)

Number of people with nausea

Number of people with local irritation

Number of people who left the study because of adverse effects





Treated with Y only




Treated with X and Y




One other person reported local irritation in the placebo group but there was no evidence on examination.

Table 9 Costs for FearFighter compared with current treatments for panic and specific phobia

(Alt text: The existing treatment costs, cost using Fearfighter, and the difference between the 2 for people treated with antidepressant medication, CBT, brief CBT and bibliotherapy.)


Existing cost per treatment course per person

Cost using FearFighter per treatment course per person

Cost or saving per treatment course per person

Antidepressant medication (weighted average cost based on 6 months of SSRIs and tricyclic antidepressants)



£135 saved

CBT (7 to 14 hours)



£512 saved

Brief CBT (7 hours) with structured self-help materials



£78 saved

Bibliotherapy (reading material) based on CBT principles



£38 cost

Table abbreviations: CBT, cognitive behavioural therapy; SSRI, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor.

Table 10 Cost of sternal closure using various Sternal Talon configurations

(Alt text: The minimum and maximum cost of using different types of Sternal Talon configurations and descriptions of the studies the costs came from.)


Cost (min to max)

Additional information

3 single Sternal Talons

£1,437.84 to £1,760.37

Included studies present 3 Sternal Talons as the most common configuration (60% to 80% of procedures)

3 double Sternal Talons

£1,908.21 to £2,069.52

2 double Sternal Talons, 1 single Sternal Talon (no wires)

£1,751.42 to £1,966.47

Configuration used in Levin 2010 study, without support wires

2 double Sternal Talons, 1 single Sternal Talon (with 3 wires)

£1,764.08 to £1,979.13 

Configuration used in Levin 2010 study, with 3 wires; the maximum stated in their methods