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Nesting Tables

It's often useful to use multiple tables on a page: one serving as a container for all or part of the page, with a second table, within the first, providing a modular-like structure for a smaller section of the page, perhaps a site navigation scheme. Such an embedded table is also an effective way to structure tabular information, like a calendar or spreadsheet. Placing a table within another table is called nesting tables. You can nest as many tables as you like, but it's best to use as few as you can to keep your page simple. Nested tables can add to page download time, and make it a bit of a challenge to manage and edit a group of tables. First, I'll show you how to nest tables, and then I'll describe some ways of working with them.

To nest a table:

Add a table to a document. Format the table to provide a structure for your page, or a part of it. Figure 7.24 shows a large table that divides the page into three sections.

Figure 7.24. This three-cell table creates a structure for the page. The cell on the left has a row span of 2. The new table will be added to the lower-right cell—the body cell of the page.

Choose a cell within the first table that will contain a second table and drag the Table icon from the Objects palette into the cell. The new table appears, centered vertically in the table cell (Figure 7.25).

Figure 7.25. When you add a second table, it is aligned, by default, to the left and to the vertical center of its parent cell.

Select the parent cell—the one containing the new table.

In the Cell tab of the Table Inspector, choose Top from the Vertical Alignment popup menu. The second table now appears in the upper-left corner of the cell (Figure 7.26).

Figure 7.26. To align the new table to the top of the parent cell, choose the appropriate option in the Cell tab of the Table Inspector, and then select and configure the new table.

Select the second table (the one you just added) and configure it, using the Table Inspector. Add rows and columns as needed, and then add the table's content.



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