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Part II: HTML > Tables

Chapter 10. Tables

HTML tags for creating tables were originally developed for presenting rows and columns of tabular data, however, 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 constrict the dimensions of the page's content in ways other HTML formatting tags won't.

The HTML 4.0 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 provide systems for incremental display and display on non-visual display agents (such as speech- and Braille-based browsers). Of course, this is just in its proposal stage as of this writing, so it will take a while to see how browsers will adopt the standards in practical use. To read what the HTML 4.0 Specification has to say about tables, see the W3C's site at http://www.w3c.org/TR/REC-html40/struct/tables.html.


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