Tables should be prepared using the table environment, following the examples given below.

Tables should be self-explanatory. The table headings should contain the essential information needed to understand the data presented. Details should not clutter the header and are better presented as explanatory footnotes. Large tables containing primary data can be archived at the CDS. For details about archival at the CDS, please refer to paragraph Publishing data at the CDS

Table columns should be set flush left. Vertical lines are normally not necessary and should be inserted only in exceptional cases for the sake of clarity. The height of each table, including the caption, usually must not exceed 23.5 cm, and the caption should always be placed above the table.

Detailed examples of TEX code for tables are provided here for simple A&A tables and here for tables longer than one page.

Publishing data at the CDS

By contract with the Journal, the CDS archives the primary data that are published in A&A and puts them at the disposal of the global community. The data are also linked to the general purpose data-mining tools developed at the CDS. These archived data can be primary observational material, catalogs, theoretical tables of lasting values, etc.

The CDS requires the data tables to be in ASCII format. Each table is accompanied by a readme.txt file that describes the table's content. The readme file format defines a standard that is used by all major astronomy journals. Again by contract with the Journal, the CDS provides help to A&A authors in order to prepare the files. Primary data can also be archived at the CDS as graphics files in FITS format. This is of particular interest for spectrograms.

Tables made available in electronic form at the CDS should be prepared according to the conventions explained below and they should be sent to the CDS upon acceptance of the paper, preferably using the submission form proposed on the CDS web site. Alternatively, the tabular material can be sent by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or by ftp to

The electronic versions of the tables are systematically checked for consistency at the CDS, and the author may have to communicate with the CDS about missing descriptions or detected inconsistencies.

Preparation of the electronic tables

Tables to be published in electronic form at the CDS should preferably be prepared as plain ASCII files, one file per table; the description of all table layouts and contents should be gathered into a file named ReadMe, a template of which can be copied from In addition to the description of the tabular material, the role of the ReadMe file is to supply minimal details about the context and the history of the data. Detailed instructions for the preparation and the submission of the tabular data can be found at; specific questions can be addressed to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Reference to the material published electronically should appear in the text, including a description of the column headings of tabular material. The following text is an example of such a description: "Table 1, available at the CDS, contains the following information. Column 1 lists the name of the source, Column 2 gives the bolometric luminosity...". Alternatively, an excerpt from the table (a few lines) can be inserted in the article.

Retrieving electronic tables

For all papers, including old papers that do not have an electronic version, the online tables can be obtained from the CDS:

  • by ftp:
    password: (type your electronic address)
    cd pub/A+A//
    mget * (to get all files)

  • by web access from: