x×y | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |

1 | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 |

2 | 2 | 4 | 6 | 8 | 10 | 12 | 14 | 16 | 18 | 20 | 22 | 24 |

3 | 3 | 6 | 9 | 12 | 15 | 18 | 21 | 24 | 27 | 30 | 33 | 36 |

4 | 4 | 8 | 12 | 16 | 20 | 24 | 28 | 32 | 36 | 40 | 44 | 48 |

5 | 5 | 10 | 15 | 20 | 25 | 30 | 35 | 40 | 45 | 50 | 55 | 60 |

6 | 6 | 12 | 18 | 24 | 30 | 36 | 42 | 48 | 54 | 60 | 66 | 72 |

7 | 7 | 14 | 21 | 28 | 35 | 42 | 49 | 56 | 63 | 70 | 77 | 84 |

8 | 8 | 16 | 24 | 32 | 40 | 48 | 56 | 64 | 72 | 80 | 88 | 96 |

9 | 9 | 18 | 27 | 36 | 45 | 54 | 63 | 72 | 81 | 90 | 99 | 108 |

10 | 10 | 20 | 30 | 40 | 50 | 60 | 70 | 80 | 90 | 100 | 110 | 120 |

11 | 11 | 22 | 33 | 44 | 55 | 66 | 77 | 88 | 99 | 110 | 121 | 132 |

12 | 12 | 24 | 36 | 48 | 60 | 72 | 84 | 96 | 108 | 120 | 132 | 144 |

To find 7×8, you'd look left to seven, then down to eight. The answer is 56.

Tables of trigonometric functions were first known to be made by Hipparchus, and were used up until the 1980s when calculators included this functionality. Tables of common logarithms and antilogarithms were used to perform tasks such as exponentiation, and sometimes as a short-cut for multiplication. Other tables are still commonly used, particularily in statistics, such as for the normal distribution.

Mechanical special-purpose computers known as difference engines were constructed in the 19th century to tabulate polynomial approximations of logarithmic functions – i.e. to compute large logarithmic tables. This was motivated mainly by the abundancy of errors in the logarithmic tables made by the human 'computers' of the time.

Creating tables is a common code optimization technique, and works as well for computers as humans.

Also see truth table.