HTML <table> Tag

Topic: HTML5 Tags Reference« Prev|Next »


The <table> tag is used to represents data in a grid-like fashion (in rows and columns).

The following table summarizes the usages context and the version history of this tag.

Placement: Block
Content: An optional <caption>, zero or more <col> or <colgroup> tags, optional <thead> and <tfoot>, zero or more <tbody> tags and at least one <tr>
Start/End Tag: Start tag: required, End tag: required
Version: HTML 3.2, 4, 4.01, 5

Usage Notes

  • Tables are used to organize data like, text, images, links, forms, form fields, other tables, etc. into rows and columns of cells.

  • At its most basic, a table is built using the <table> element and one or more, <tr>, <th> and <td> elements. Where the <tr> element defines a table row, the <th> element defines a table header, and the <td> element defines a table cell.

  • A more complex table may also include a <caption>, <col> and <colgroup> elements; and the structural <thead>, <tbody>, and <tfoot> elements, which are used to identify the different regions in the table.


The basic syntax of the <table> tag is given with:

HTML / XHTML: <table> ... </table>

The example below shows the <table> tag in action.

  • <table>
  •     <caption>User Details</caption>
  •     <thead>
  •         <tr>
  •             <th>No.</th>
  •             <th>Name</th>
  •             <th>Email</th>
  •         </tr>
  •     </thead>
  •     <tbody>
  •         <tr>
  •             <td>1</td>
  •             <td>John Carter</td>
  •             <td></td>
  •         </tr>
  •         <tr>
  •             <td>2</td>
  •             <td>Peter Parker</td>
  •             <td></td>
  •         </tr>
  •         <tr>
  •             <td>3</td>
  •             <td>John Rambo</td>
  •             <td></td>
  •         </tr>
  •     </tbody>
  • </table>

Tip:Consider describing the structure of the table in a <caption> element or, simplify the structure of the table so that no description is needed.

Tag-Specific Attributes

The following table shows the attributes that are specific to the <table> tag.

Attribute Value Description
align left
Obsolete Specifies the alignment of the table with respect to the document.
bgcolor color Obsolete Sets the background color of the table.
border 1
Obsolete Specifies whether the table cells should have borders or not.
cellpadding length Obsolete Specifies the space between the edge of a cell and its content.
cellspacing length Obsolete Specifies the amount of space between individual cells.
frame above
Obsolete Specifies which sides of the border frame surrounding a table will be visible.
rules all
Obsolete Specifies which parts of the inside borders will appear between cells within a table.
sortable sortable Enables a sorting interface for the table.
summary text Obsolete Specifies a summary of the content of a table.
width length Obsolete Specifies the width of the entire table.

Global Attributes

Like all other HTML tags, the <table> tag supports the global attributes in HTML5.

Event Attributes

The <table> tag also supports the event attributes in HTML5.

Browser Compatibility

The <table> tag is supported in all major modern browsers.

Browsers Icon

Basic Support—

  • Firefox 1+
  • Google Chrome 1+
  • Internet Explorer 2+
  • Apple Safari 1+
  • Opera 4+

Further Reading

See tutorial on: HTML Tables.

Other table-related tags: <thead>, <tfoot>, <tbody>, <caption>, <colgroup>, <col>, <tr>, <th>, <td>.


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