A table is a grid of rows and columns that intersect to form cells, as shown in Figure 7-5. A cell acts like a mini document window, in which you can place images, text, and even additional tables. And because a cell can have a fixed width and height, you can place these items with precision. For example, you can build a table with three cells in a row and fill each cell with a single column of text, thus simulating the column layout of a print publication such as a newspaper.
Figure 7-5. Rows, columns, and cells make up a table. Cell spacing specifies how many pixels of space appear between cells. Cell padding, on the other hand, provides a space between the four sides of the cell and the cell's content, as described on Section 1.2.1.
Tables are also the key to building more complex designs. For instance, you can merge cells together to create larger cells that span columns or rows, nest tables for added versatility, and create flexible designs that expand to fit the browser window.
(This should all sound familiar to anyone who's used, for example, the table tool in Microsoft Word.)
Since tables weren't originally intended for layout purposes, many people find working with them counterintuitive. For starters, creating tables usually involves thinking in terms of rows and columns—but having to determine the number of rows and columns you'll need just to place an image at ...