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Chapter 5. Working with Tables > Data Alignment—axis and id

Data Alignment—axis and id

With all the design tricks that are sometimes employed using tables, people often forget that the reason tables were developed for HTML and XHTML was to deliver tabular content. Rows and columns of numbers or data are presented much as you'd see them in a spreadsheet. To make sense of the information, it must be aligned in some manner. Often this is done visually by creating headers, as you did previously with the calendar page. But what if the table contains hundreds of rows? What if you can't see the table, and instead need to listen to it using a speech synthesizer? How will you be able to match the data with the header? XHTML provides several attributes that can be added to TH and TD elements to provide this identifying information.

To illustrate, let's build a small table that sorts what my family ordered the last time we went out to dinner. Each of our choices for entrée, beverage, and dessert are listed.


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