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How to Pick Relative or Fixed Table Widths?

Whether you choose to use relative or fixed table depend on your content and the amount of control you went over the result. Many Web design prefer fixed table because they can be sure that their view of the content will be the same as the users. The current trend is to provide content in relative table that adapt to different screen resolutions.

You can set relative table widths as percentages in the table WIDTH attribute. If you choose relative table widths, your table resize based on the size of the browser window shows a table with the WIDTH attribute set to 100 percent.

The browser will try to fit the SEO content into the window, wrapping text as necessary. The advantage of using a relative width is that the resulting table is more compatible across different browser window sizes and screen resolutions. The disadvantage is that you have little content can shift from user to user based on browser window sizes.

You can set absolute table widths as pixel values in the table WIDTH attribute. Fixed table remain constant regardless of the browser window size. The advantage of using affixed table is that you can gain greater control over the result the user sees. The user’s browser size and screen resolution have no affect on the display of the page.


Default spacing values are included in table even when you do not specify values for the table’s BORDER, CELL PADDING, or CELL SPACING attributes. Without the default spacing values, the table cells would have no built-in white space between them, and the contents of adjoining cell would run together Depending on the browser, approximately two pixels are reserved for each of these values you can remove the default spacing by explicitly stating a zero value for each attribute.


The HTML table code can get complicated when you add content to your table. Not only do you have to mange all the table tags and attributes, but also the text, images, and links in your cells. One small error in your code can cause unpredictable results in the browser.

You can simplify your table creation and maintenance tasks by writing clean, commented code. If you use plenty of white space in the code, you will find your tables are easier to access and change. Adding comments helps you quickly find the code you went. The various code samples in this chapter demonstrate the use of comments and white space in table code.


Always remove any leading or trailing spaces in your table cell content. In some browsers the extra spaces create white space in the table cell. These spaces cause problems if you are trying to join the contents of adjacent cells. Even though the default spacing has been removed, there still is space between the images.