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Part: II Layout Topics > BLOG: HTML or CSS for Layout?

BLOG: HTML or CSS for Layout?

There are two general approaches to creating layouts on a Web page: HTML tables or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The tables method is the classic approach. It's easy to do, and it works reliably across many different types of browsers. However, using HTML tables for layout gets the standards police all in an uproar. Groups like the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) hate it when you use tables this way, because HTML's table tags are supposed to be for rows and columns of data. Using tables for graphic design is like using a hammer to pound in a screw—it gets the job done, but not the job that the hammer or screw had in mind. This type of argument isn't entirely nitpicking. Accessibility devices like text-to-speech converters and screen readers rely on strict interpretations of HTML standards, so your tables-based layout could very easily play tricks on the visually impaired. In spite of these limitations, tables-based layout dominates the Web.


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