# Logarithm tables vs multiplication tables

When John Napier and Joost Burgi developed logarithms in the 16th century, they succeeded in replacing long, tedious, error-prone multiplications with table-look-up and addition, giving other mathematicians the benefit of their stored work in the form of their extensive tables.

So what makes this better than developing extensive multiplication tables, which would replace multiplication with table-look-up only, instead of table-look-up and addition, as with logarithms?

• The time it would take to compose those tables and to leaf through them, and the space it would take to print them? You'd need square tables instead of just a pair of columns. – Conifold Jul 5 at 23:57