Chapter 8. Harnessing the Power of Tables
IN THIS CHAPTER
Adding tables and setting table size
Using padding and spacing
Aligning tables and cell contents
Spanning rows and columns
Working with images and color
Tables quick reference
Although tables on Web pages can be incredibly dull, they also can be the single greatest tool at your disposal. It all depends on how you use them. If a table does nothing but list row after row of numbers or words, then it's pretty hard to make it an exciting addition to your site. Of course, setting up neat and well-structured tabular data is a useful and often necessary way of presenting information. We're not exactly against it — you notice that we use tables of tabular data in the examples in this book from time to time when that's the best way to get something across.
But that's the pedestrian side of tables, and, even though it's all you can do with tables on paper, Web pages enable you to use tables in astonishing ways. Let's start with the basics: tables are groups of cells that contain information. The only difference between dull, plebian tables and powerful, delightful ones is what you choose to put in the cells of the table. Each cell in a table can hold nearly anything that can be put on a Web page — frames are just about the only exception, and that's because table cells can only contain things that also go into the
BODY element. There's practically no limit to what you can do with a little imagination.
See Chapter 3 for a ...