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Chapter 13. Tables

HTML tags for creating tables were originally developed for presenting rows and columns of tabular data, but designers quickly co-opted them as a valuable tool for controlling the layout of web pages. Tables allow you to create columns of text, hold white space between elements, and restrict the dimensions of the page's content in ways other HTML formatting tags can't.

The HTML 4.01 specification on tables is a great deal more complex than the previous 3.2 standard. It makes an effort to bring context and structure to table data as well as to provide systems for incremental display during download and display on nonvisual display agents (such as speech- and Braille-based browsers). To read what the HTML 4.01 specification has to say about tables, see the W3C's site at http://www.w3c.org/TR/html4/struct/tables.html.


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