There’s a fairly good chance that table charts were invented before written language was. A couple of cavemen decided to compare their hunting skills by placing markings on a cave wall. Each had their column, days may be rows, and there you have it: the first table chart in history.
Today, table charts are one of the most popular formats used to communicate information in a tabular manner. Content components like feature comparisons, price lists, and even sports team scores over a season are best communicated through table charts.
In this post, we’ll take a look at what we deem to be the top 8 Table Chart Makers for 2021, and help you pick the one that’s right for you and your table charting needs.
What are table charts?
Table charts display data in rows and columns. They often have header rows and may have a summary row, as well as a column listing criteria. None of these are mandatory, which makes table charts very versatile even before you discuss the design elements you can add to make your table chart unique.
It’s no wonder that most websites, blogs, and even written documents make use of table charts to communicate information. It simply works. According to data collected by chart maker Infogram, users spend up to twice as much time engaging with articles with data visualization. Moreover, sites using charts saw up to 317% improvement in the depth of scroll.
For publishers and content creators, these numbers can make the difference between a successful and failed website.
Why use a table chart maker?
Publishers can create table charts themselves with the use of HTML and CSS or generate an image of one. However, this is an issue of value vs effort invested. Most often, using a ready-made table chart maker is simply faster and more effective than making one from scratch.
Moreover, commercial table chart makers offer far more features and capabilities than your home-brewed table charts. They are more likely to be compatible with display on various devices, offer built-in themes, and user-friendly wizards for importing and exporting data and the table charts created.
The table chart making tools we picked for this list vary greatly. Some of them provide simpler ways to create table charts. Others focus on creating visually appealing charts. All of them can save you time and effort, so the choice depends on your needs and your budget.
It’s also worth noting that some of the table chart makers we’ve chosen offer other types of charts as well. So if you’re looking for a multi-purpose chart maker, you will find those in our list as well.
Top 8 Table Chart Makers for 2021
If you’re already using Google sheets for your data, using them for charts makes sense. There are plenty of free templates to help you do it. It’s not the simplest solution, nor the most graphically appealing, but it certainly is powerful. Also, it’s free or comes as part of your Google Workspace.
Note that some of the table chart makers listed below can import data from Google Sheets. This means Google Sheets can also serve as a kind of backend to your table chart, regardless of the frontend you use to make your table chart visually appealing.
2. Common Ninja
One of the most common uses of table charts are comparisons. Common Ninja offers a unique service and plugin that specialize in creating good looking comparison table charts with great speed and ease.
With Common Ninja, you can easily customize your comparison table chart’s look and feel, and embed it on any website with a simple snippet. The UI is friendly and clear, and allows anyone to create a comparison table chart for free. Many more features and customizations are available in the premium version.
Common Ninja also offers a general charting plugin for your other charting needs.
Price: There is a free version and paid plans start at $3.19 monthly with a functionality-limited free version available
Infogram’s free version allows customization and supports data import. The pro version isn’t cheap, but it provides additional templates, greater customization, live data, and the ability to download your chart as a high res image or a PDF.
Price: Starting from $19 a month, with a feature-limited free option available
RowShare’s user interface is simple and intuitive. Users can create table charts from scratch or import data from sheets.
The basic version is limited to 3 users, while the various plans allow more users and more tables. This one is definitely about working together but you can still embed your charts online for all to see or export them to Excel for work offline.
Price: Starting at $29 monthly, with a feature-limited free subscription
Xara is a full featured e-publishing platform, with templates for anything from a flyer to a complete eBook. The Xara Cloud service is the cloud based version of the company’s Designer Pro app, which includes data visualization tools like table charts. You can export your file as a JPEG, PNG, SVG. or PDF or share it as a page hosted by Xara.
Price: Starting at $12.95 with a 14 day free trial
Pollunit stands out by offering a very specific and specialized service: Pollunit offerings, including their table charts, are all about sourcing content and opinion from users.
If you want an interactive table chart that will allow your site visitors to fill with their information, data, and ideas? This will tick your boxes.
Pollunit a polling site, and the charts are just one more way to poll. You can invite people to fill your table directly from the site or using a link generated for you.
Price: Starting at $5.83 per month, with a feature limited free version available
Tableau is a professional, and expensive, data visualization service. Their tools were built to help visualize and analyze data. All of those tools are available for $70 per user, per month, billed annually.
Fortunately, if you want to publish your data visualization via a tablet chart online, they’ve made a version of their tools, either in the browser or via their app, available for free on Tableau Public.
This is a non-commercial service allowing content creators and data analysts to make complex charts and tables from existing data. Tableau Public works with a large variety of data sources, from Excel and Access to Spatial and Statistical files.
For a simple table chart, Tableau’s tools may be overkill. In addition, you need ot be farily technical to make good use out of Tableau. Especially, if you’re looking to make visually appealing table charts for a website or blog. Tableau is not the service to go with if beautiful design is your focus.
Vizzlo’s chart service is another one that is specific in its offering: Vizzlo focuses on making charts for presentations. They have plugins for Google Slides and Powerpoint, and offer a wide variety of well made templates for every kind of chart, from table to gantt. Vizzlo allows users to embed their charts online, but that is less of a focus.
Vizzlo’s embeddable charts are static images. For publishers who prefer to display table charts in image form (and don’t mind a large watermark), this can be an advantage. We found Vizzlo’s UI simple to use, if a bit limited compared to some other offerings. If you want to remove the watermark and export in PDF, you need the premium version. Otherwise, you can only download in PNG and embed.
Price: $11 a month. Free for public documents with watermark.
There are plenty of options out there if you’re looking for a table chart maker for your website, blog, or app. Our list of top 8 table chart makers for 2021 should have at least one to answer all your needs. If you think we’ve missed a particularly good tool, do let us know in the comments!