HTML Tables

With HTML you can create tables.


Tables

Tables are defined with the <table> tag. A table is divided into rows (with the <tr> tag), and each row is divided into data cells (with the <td> tag). The letters td stands for “table data,” which is the content of a data cell. A data cell can contain text, images, lists, paragraphs, forms, horizontal rules, tables, etc.

<table border="1">
<tr>
<td>row 1, cell 1</td>
<td>row 1, cell 2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>row 2, cell 1</td>
<td>row 2, cell 2</td>
</tr>
</table>

How it looks in a browser:

row 1, cell 1 row 1, cell 2
row 2, cell 1 row 2, cell 2

Tables and the Border Attribute

If you do not specify a border attribute the table will be displayed without any borders. Sometimes this can be useful, but most of the time, you want the borders to show.

To display a table with borders, you will have to use the border attribute:

<table border="1">
<tr>
<td>Row 1, cell 1</td>
<td>Row 1, cell 2</td>
</tr>
</table>

Headings in a Table

Headings in a table are defined with the <th> tag.

<table border="1">
<tr>
<th>Heading</th>
<th>Another Heading</th>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>row 1, cell 1</td>
<td>row 1, cell 2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>row 2, cell 1</td>
<td>row 2, cell 2</td>
</tr>
</table>

How it looks in a browser:

Heading Another Heading
row 1, cell 1 row 1, cell 2
row 2, cell 1 row 2, cell 2

Empty Cells in a Table

Table cells with no content are not displayed very well in most browsers.

<table border="1">
<tr>
<td>row 1, cell 1</td>
<td>row 1, cell 2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>row 2, cell 1</td>
<td></td>
</tr>
</table>

How it looks in a browser:

row 1, cell 1 row 1, cell 2
row 2, cell 1

Note that the borders around the empty table cell are missing (NB! Mozilla Firefox displays the border).

To avoid this, add a non-breaking space (&nbsp;) to empty data cells, to make the borders visible:

<table border="1">
<tr>
<td>row 1, cell 1</td>
<td>row 1, cell 2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>row 2, cell 1</td>
<td>&nbsp;</td>
</tr>
</table>

How it looks in a browser:

row 1, cell 1 row 1, cell 2
row 2, cell 1

Basic Notes – Useful Tips

The <thead>,<tbody> and <tfoot> elements are seldom used, because of bad browser support. Expect this to change in future versions of XHTML. If you have Internet Explorer 5.0 or newer,


Table Tags

Tag Description
<table> Defines a table
<th> Defines a table header
<tr> Defines a table row
<td> Defines a table cell
<caption> Defines a table caption
<colgroup> Defines groups of table columns
<col> Defines the attribute values for one or more columns in a table
<thead> Defines a table head
<tbody> Defines a table body
<tfoot> Defines a table footer
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