A table view presents a small or large amount of data cleanly and efficiently in a scrolling list of cells that are organized into columns and rows. At minimum, a table view contains one column that contains primary data like file names. Subsequent columns may be added, as needed, to display additional attributes that supplement the primary data like file sizes and modification dates.
Tables are ideal for displaying text-based content and are often used for navigation on one side of a split view, with related content on the opposite side. See Split Views.
Use an outline view instead of a table view to present hierarchical data. An outline view looks like a table view, but includes disclosure triangles for exposing additional levels of data. For example, an outline view might display folders and the items they contain. See Outline Views.
Use descriptive column headings to provide context. Column headings should be noun or short noun phrases with title-style capitalization and no punctuation—they should never include a trailing colon. Always provide column headings in a multi-column table view. If you don’t include a column heading in a single-column table view, use a label or other means to make sure there’s enough context for the user.
Let people click column headings to sort a table view if it provides value. In a sortable table view, the user can click a single column heading to perform an ascending or descending sort based on that column. You can implement additional sorting based on secondary columns behind the scenes, if necessary. If the user clicks the heading of a column that’s already sorted, data should re-sort in the opposite direction.
Let people resize columns. Data displayed in a table view often varies in width. When columns can be resized, the user can adjust their width as needed to reveal clipped data.