Difference Between Figure and Table (With Table)

We have been blessed with the gift of knowledge that is encapsulated in the form of books. Now, information is not only contained in books but there are other platforms to display vast volumes of information. As the rate of literacy increased, new ways of recording and depicting information have come about. Figures and Tables are two such forms by which vast information is made available to people in a more comprehensive manner.

Figure vs Table

The difference between Figure and Table is that while both are ways in which vast volumes of information is made available to the readers in a concise version, the former depicts information in the form of pictures, drawings, clip arts, etc., on the other hand, the latter represents information in sets of rows and columns.

A figure is depicting volumes of information with the help of visual aids. A person seeing this does not necessarily have to know how to read and write but can infer the meaning by simply looking at the figure. However, sometimes certain words are written in a figure to help explain their meaning better.

A table, on the other hand, is again the depiction of voluminous information in a manner that will not overwhelm them but will equip them with knowledge. These contain series of rows and columns, each of which depicts a different detail, and sometimes it is compared against one another to conclude.

Comparison Table Between Figure and Table

Parameters of ComparisonFigureTable
FormVisual aids such as photos, drawings, etc.With series of rows and columns
PurposeTo help draw inferences from a certain photo or drawing that depicts something through itTo help compare or distinguish or divide information under different heads
Method of LabellingThe label that is put under a figure is always referred to as a caption and the method of labeling is ‘captioning’The label that is put under a table is always referred to as ‘numbering’ it
Abbreviated Version‘Fig.’No abbreviation
Frequency of AppearanceIts frequency of occurrence is quite the same in almost all the subjectsIt is used more often in maths, science, and economics related subjects

What is Figure?

A figure is depicting volumes of information with the help of visual aids. A person seeing this does not necessarily have to know how to read and write but can infer the meaning by simply looking at the figure. However, sometimes certain words are written in a figure to help explain their meaning better.

The main purpose that it serves is that it helps to draw inferences from a certain photo or drawing that depicts something through it. One important fact that should be mentioned is that, when labeling a figure, the label is called a caption. For instance, “Fig. 1 Shows the process of digestion.”

It can be referred to as ‘Fig.’ instead of Figure. Its frequency of occurrence is quite the same in almost all the subjects.

Generally, whenever a piece of information has to be explained through a figure, that figure should be accommodated on the same page as that of the information to avoid confusing the reader. All the figures should be numbered to ensure that even if a certain figure is not on the same page as the information, the reader can always refer to the number of the Figure to know what the author is talking about.

A subject like economics employs the aid of both figures and tables. Most of the mathematical calculations are done in a tabular form, whereas the graph that is to be plotted based on these results is depicted in the form of a Figure.

What is Table?

A table is again the depiction of voluminous information in a manner that will not overwhelm them but will equip them with knowledge. These contain series of rows and columns, each of which depicts a different detail, and sometimes it is compared against one another to conclude.

The main purpose that it serves is that it helps in comparing or distinguishing, or dividing information under different heads. A table is labeled by numbering it. For instance, “Table 2.0 represents the crops grown in Uganda in the Summer and Winter Seasons.” 

It does not have an abbreviation and is referred to as Table all through the text. Tables are widely used in science, commerce, as well as, humanities-related subjects.

Ideally, whenever a piece of information has to be depicted in the form of a table, that table should be placed on the same page as that of the information to avoid confusing the reader. All the tables should be numbered to ensure that even if a certain table is not on the same page as the information, the reader can always refer to the number of the Table to know what the author has depicted earlier or later in his text.

Main Differences Between Figure and Table

  1. A figure employs visual aids to depict the information. In contrast, a table uses a series of rows and columns to depict the information
  2. The purpose that a figure serves is that helps to draw inferences from a certain photo or drawing that depicts something through it. On the other hand, the main purpose that it serves is that it helps in comparing or distinguishing, or dividing information under different heads.
  3. Where the label of a figure is called captioning, the label of a table is called numbering the table. It is advisable to ensure that the figure or table depicted is on the same page as that of the information that has been explained.
  4. While the shortened version of Figure is Fig., there is no shortened version of Table.
  5. The frequency of occurrence of a figure is quite the same in almost all the subjects. However, a table is used more in subjects related to maths, science, and economics.

Conclusion

In the modern-day world, the importance of education was harped upon quite often. More and more studies and researches were conducted, more and more theories and papers were written on thought-provoking topics. To ensure that all the information that is being gathered is made available to everyone at large, new methods of compiling information were introduced. Table and figures are two such methods with which vast information is depicted to its readers in an easier format to understand and remember.

The difference between Figure and Table is that while both are ways in which vast volumes of information is made available to the readers in a concise version, the former depicts information in the form of pictures, drawings, clip arts, etc., on the other hand, the latter represents information in sets of rows and columns. Ranging from school-going students to college-going students to people in the fields of mathematics, engineering, economics, etc., all use figures and tables to convey details.

References

  1. https://aip.scitation.org/doi/abs/10.1063/1.342976
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03610918008812164?journalCode=lssp20
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