I'm trying to indicate a Subtotal (83% in the image below) and then a total (83+17=100) below that.

Options I'm considering (but don't particularly like):

  • The "sum" line above 83%
  • Making the second "sum" line (above Total) a double line
  • Putting a box above each total to show what it sums (so a box around whole column from 9 ...5, from 30%...63% and 83% to 17%
  • 3 increasing darkness of shade ( #, Subtotal#, Total#) (second screen shot below)
  • Similar to above but just black (or maybe black+italics) and black + bold (screen 3)

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1 Answer 1


The table is not organized in proper way, so you are trying to overcome this issue with your options. The problems are:
enter image description here

  1. Established reading pattern (by rows) makes it hard to distinguish the number (83%) as subtotal. It is perceived as normal row rather than subtotal one.
  2. Placing missed items info within the table is a logic error. The format of this row doesn't correspond to the table. In particular, the number of missed items (5) is placed in correct column, which is wrong.

The right solution is more radical than your options. Try to re-organize the table, taking the stats out of the table. A possible solution could be as follows:
enter image description here

  • Excellent solution. Is there any reason that you used "Items" in the 2nd to last row but not in the row above "Correct" ? Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 2:01
  • Sorry, @Clay, cannot understand the question. Anyway, it's just an idea for fixing the table. Commented Jan 17, 2014 at 8:49
  • I think your insight (the table was fundamentally wrong) was spot on. Rephrasing q: You included "Items" in front of 'missed' but not in front of 'correct' or 'total'. Seems like it should be in front of all of them or none of them (for consistency). BUT... I thought you perhaps left that off the 'correct' and 'total' for a reason. Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 17:01
  • @ClayNichols, No special reason, still repeating "items" three times is not good idea, as it brings visual complexity and excessiveness. Commented Jan 18, 2014 at 17:13

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