Chapter 5: Tables

previous page

5.1 : Uses for Tables

Tables are so useful, they are ubiquitous on web sites. With tables you can arrange your content to appear the way you want it to. They give you a simple form of direct control over the arrangement of text, images, and links on your page. You can use tables to arrange your entire page, like this:

A WEB PAGE
Table of Contents MAIN WINDOW

FOOTER

Or you can use tables for more traditional uses, like arranging data:

GROWTH PROJECTIONS
/ June July Aug.
U.S.A. 0.20% 0.45% 0.80%
Mexico 1.20% 1.80% 2.01%

Table borders can be made "invisible" to the viewer, allowing you to layout pages with horizontal or vertical devisions appropriate to the design you want. If fact, this page you are viewing is contained in one large table, allowing for the alignment of the Heading above ("Chapter 5: Tables"), the navigation tabs you see to the right and left, and the footer below.
(Click here to see this page WITHOUT the table borders visable.)
You can also arrange tables to accomidate the different sizes that a visitor will be viewing your page by utilizing the percentage commands and bit-width commands that are available for tables.
Additionally, tables can be used to break up text further, and create columns, as you can see here. Tables also allow for creativity in aligning text and graphics, either to the right, left, top, or bottom of a cell.

Given that this page is one large table, the examples above also show that tables can be "nested" inside each other to produce tables within tables.

To summarize, tables can be used as the primary layout tool for your Web pages. Once you learn the basic tag commands, tables are quite easy to use, and the results are only limited by your imagination.
If you come across a well-designed page on the Web, take a moment to view its source code. Chances are it will be using tables (or their close cousins, "Frames", which we will be covering later), and will probably give you some design ideas for your own pages.

next

[click to go to previous page] [to index page] [to top of this page] [to next page]

Copyrightę 1998. Liberty Miller . All rights reserved.
This material may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.