HTML 4.01 in Netscape and Explorer: Tables | WebReference

HTML 4.01 in Netscape and Explorer: Tables

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Tables Spec

Tables in Netscape

Before we go on to talk about the various features of the HTML 4.0 Table model, it would be useful to note that Netscape supports almost none of it. Netscape only supports the HTML 3.2 Table model in its entirety, so you can read up on that if you want to design for Netscape. The rest of this section applies to Explorer only.

Netscape supports one or two additional features on top of the HTML 3.2 Table Model. There are the hspace and vspace attributes to the table element that define the horizontal and vertical space (in pixels) between a table and the surrounding text. It also recognizes background and bgcolor attributes for the table, tr, th and td elements that define a background image or color for the specified element. These attributes are not very useful since there is no way (outside CSS) to define text color for the elements as well, making it easy to produce unreadable results.

Also note that Netscape can not do incremental rendering of tables no matter what kind of information you include in them. Explorer, on the other hand, will display all tables incrementally since it updates the formatting onscreen as it receives new data.

The table element Spec

Explorer recognizes all the attributes of the table element specified in the HTML 4.0 specification with the exception of the summary element. It also recognizes three other attributes, bordercolor, bordercolorlight and bordercolordark, which define the color of the main border, the border highlight and the border shadow respectively when 3-D borders are rendered by Explorer. Explorer does not recognize the dir attribute for cell directionality.

The caption element Spec

Explorer recognizes the caption element, but it interprets the left and right values for the align attribute as alignment of the text within the caption and not as a position of the caption relative to the table. Explorer also recognizes a valign attribute to caption that accepts a top or bottom value equivalent to align=top and align=bottom respectively.

Row Groups Spec, Column Groups Spec, Rows Spec and Cells Spec

Explorer supports the thead, tfoot, tbody, colgroup, col, tr, th and td elements according to the specification except for a few exceptions: none of these elements can be justified by setting the value of the align attribute to justify, and the contents cannot be aligned to a character using align=char and the char and charoff attributes. Also, Explorer does not support a multilength-type value to the width attribute of a colgroup element. Explorer also ignores the axis attribute to table cells. Other than that, Explorer renders tables according to the specification, although table borders have a beveled look that can be adjusted using the bordercolor, bordercolorlight and bordercolordark as described in the section on the table element.

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Created: Mar. 12, 1998
Revised: November 15, 2004