Difference Between Rows and Columns (With Table)

Rows and columns can be two very confusing terms for many of us and we might often use them interchangeably and wrongly. You must be very familiar with the tabular representation of data in a chart or a table or a spreadsheet. What do the vertical arrangements in that table represent and what do the horizontal ones represent? There is no doubt that these vertical and horizontal arrangements of data together form a table.

Rows vs Columns

The difference between rows and columns is that rows are the horizontal or transverse arrangement of particles or data or cells while columns are the vertical or longitudinal arrangement of particles or data or cells. The particles in a row are aligned from left to right while the particles in a column are aligned from the top to the bottom. In a spreadsheet, the total if shown, is shown at the extreme right side in the case of rows while it is shown at the extreme bottom in the case of columns.

The extreme left part of a table is called a stub and it indicates the rows while the extreme top part of the table is called a caption and describes the columns. Rows are also known as records, as in Database Management or horizontal arrays, in the case of matrices while columns are also known as fields, as in Database Management, or vertical arrays as in matrices. Rows are generally represented by numbers while columns are generally represented by alphabets.

Comparison Table Between Rows and Columns 

Parameters of ComparisonRowsColumns
Definition Rows are the horizontal or transverse arrangement of data or particles.Columns are the vertical or longitudinal arrangement of data or particles.
Described byRows are described by a stub that is present at the extreme left part of the table or spreadsheet.Columns are described by a caption that is present at the topmost part of the table or the spreadsheet.
ArrangementThe arrangement of particles in a row is from the left to the right.The arrangement of particles in a column is from the top to the bottom.
Also known asIn Database Management, rows are known as records and in a matrix, rows are also known as horizontal arrays.In Database Management, columns are known as fields and in a matrix, columns are also known as vertical arrays.
Total shown inThe total of the data in the rows of a table or spreadsheet is shown at the rightmost part.The total of the data in the columns of a table or a spreadsheet is shown at the bottom-most part.
Represented byRows are generally represented by numbers.Columns are generally represented by alphabets.

What are Rows?

Rows are horizontal arrangements of particles, things, data, cells, etc. We can see such arrangements in our day to day life like the seating arrangement in a theater or a classroom, or a line of trees on both sides of the street, or the plants arranged in rows in a nursery. In a table or a spreadsheet, the data rows are formed from data arranged from left to right.

A stub present at the leftmost corner of the table describes rows and rows are generally represented by numbers. The total of the data in the rows is shown in the rightmost part. Rows are also known as horizontal arrays or records (as in Database Management).

What are Columns?

Columns are vertical arrangements of facts, figures, or any such data in a vertical line in a spreadsheet or a chart or a table. In real life, they are an arrangement of things or organisms in a straight vertical line like people standing in a queue for buying tickets, pillars arranged in a vertical line, or the arrangement of compartments of a train. 

A caption present at the topmost part of the table describes columns. Columns are also known as vertical arrays or as fields (in Database Management). They are usually represented by alphabets and the total of all the data in columns is shown at the extreme bottom part.

Main Differences Between Rows and Columns

  1. Rows are the horizontal placement of particles or data while columns are the vertical placement of particles or data.
  2. Rows are known as records in Database Management and as horizontal arrays in matrices while columns are known as fields in Database Management and as vertical arrays in matrices.
  3. Rows are described by stub present at the leftmost side while columns are described by a caption present at the topmost side of the spreadsheet.
  4. Particles in a row are arranged from left to right while that in a column is arranged from the top to bottom.
  5. Rows are generally represented by numbers while columns are generally represented by alphabets.
  6. The total of the data in the row is shown at the rightmost side of the table while the total of the data in the column is shown at the extreme bottom of the table.

Conclusion

Rows and columns are the arrangements of particles or data. What makes them different is the way of arrangement. Rows also called horizontal arrays or records are the horizontal or transverse arrangement of data from left to right while columns or vertical arrays or fields are the vertical or longitudinal arrangement of data from top to bottom.

Rows are generally represented by numbers and described by stub while columns are generally represented by alphabets and described by a caption. Also, the total of the data in a row is shown at the extreme right of the table while the total of the data in a column is shown at the extreme bottom of the table.

References

  1. https://dl.acm.org/doi/abs/10.1145/1376616.1376712
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02602938.2019.1616671
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1388245710000738
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