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Using tables creatively and productively in Word documents

Join PEG for our webinar series where you will have the opportunity to upgrade your knowledge and skills as editors and proofreaders in a variety of ways: linguistic, stylistic, business, digital, technical and more. Curious about creating, formatting, styling and manipulating tables in Word? Wanting to know more? During this webinar on 20 March, the aim will be to familiarise you with the tools in Word that enable you to make tables ‘tell their story’ more clearly, logically and effectively.

Focus: ‘Tables are the most used form of illustration in scientific writing,’ write Matthews, Bowen and Matthews.* ‘They summarize and emphasize key points and reduce narrative length. They simplify information, thus enhancing understanding. They improve the conciseness and clarity of the narrative. And, finally, when carefully crafted, they add visual appeal to a manuscript.’ We’ll be focusing on ways in which tables can, and should, be carefully crafted to do just that.

* JR Matthews, JM Bowen & RW Matthews Successful scientific writing. A step-by-step guide for the biological and
medical sciences. 2 ed. (Cambridge University Press, 2000)

Date: Wednesday, 20 March 2024

Exercises will be sent upon registration.

Time: 17:30–19:30

Place: Online (Zoom meeting)

Facilitator: John Linnegar

Pre-webinar materials: A pre-webinar exercise and two other documents for those who want to follow along practically will be emailed upon registration.

CPD hours: You’ll earn 2,0 CPD hours by attending this webinar, 0,5 hours by listening to the recording.

About our facilitator

John Linnegar began his career as a teacher of English, History and Mathematics. He has been an avid ‘improver of authors’ words’ for more than four decades now, and remains dedicated to making their texts read as clearly as possible (and in the process saving a reputation or two!). Apart from co-authoring three of the PEG guides, John is author of several texts dealing with matters grammatical and stylistic. These include Engleish, our Engleish: Common errors in South African English and how to resolve them (Pharos, 2013) and, most recently, with Ken McGillivray, grammar, punctuation and all that jazz . . . (MLA Publishers, 2019) and Academic writing & editing: Towards clear, concise and coherent texts (MLA Publishers, 2024).

Since 2000 he has been training copy editors and proofreaders for South Africa’s book publishing industry and championing the professionalisation of our craft and its practitioners by means of accessible online short courses. To this end, he co-authored Text Editing: A handbook for students and practitioners (UPA, Brussels, 2012, reprinted 2022). The advanced editing course he has been facilitating for some time includes a module on editing tables. He has had plenty of exposure to these important illustrative features of books as they are an essential visual aid and alternative to yet more text in both school textbooks and academic publications.

About the webinar

John will walk you through the following aspects of engaging with tables, demonstrating Word’s array of Table functions:

  • How to approach tables: the three passes recommended by Einsohn & Schwartz
  • Creating a table from scratch in Word
  • Placement and styling of table title, source, notes
  • Formatting and aligning column and side heads
  • Positioning abbreviations and note locators
  • Formatting and aligning raw data in cells/columns
  • Rearranging data in ascending or descending order
  • Inserting and deleting columns, rows and cells
  • Splitting and merging rows and columns
  • Making columns and rows a uniform width
  • Hiding and displaying vertical and horizontal rules
  • Using shading to highlight rows or data
  • Treatment of blank cells.


Affiliation Early-bird registration fee
(by 14 March latest)
Registration fee
(15–18 March latest)
PEG members R295 R380
LAMP members* R495 R580
Non-affiliated members R695 R780

*LAMP members: Association of Southern African Indexers and Bibliographers (ASAIB), ProJourn, Southern African Freelancers’ Association (SAFREA), South African Science Journalists’ Association (SASJA) and the South African Translators’ Institute (SATI).

Please register by completing and emailing the registration form. The registration deadline of 12 noon on 18 March will be strictly applied and no late registrations will be accepted.

Deadline for registrations: 12:00 on 18 March.

Cancellation policy

If members are unable to attend this webinar after having registered and paid for it, a full refund is possible if cancellations are received by Sharon Rose by no later than 12 noon on 18 March. Once the final number of attendees has been confirmed on the eve of the webinar, no refunds are possible.

In addition, should you be prevented from participating in full or in part on the day of the webinar owing to Eskom loadshedding, you will be entitled to take either the same webinar or another on the 2024 webinar programme. When this occurs, the onus will be on you to inform the webinar coordinator of your disqualification on this ground and to specify which alternative webinar you would like to transfer your registration to.

Remember, though, that as a would-be or part-participant on the day, you will in any event receive the audio recording of the entire event plus PDFs of the PPT slides.

Use the early-bird special: save money and secure your spot at this webinar by registering early!

20 March, 2024 @ 17:30 - 19:30 Africa/Johannesburg at Online (Zoom) by PEG | First Quarter Nitty gritty Webinar Zoom

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