In-terms of web page design, tables are probably the most important skill you need to master. Tables allow you to control the overall layout of a web page as seen on any size screen as well as position and control the display of blocks of text or images.
As we've mentioned before basic text and images on webpages will simply warp to fit the size of browser window
This means that if you try to create a good layout on your machine like this
Then the layout effect could be ruined on another size window
Tables allow you to stop this warping and also give extra control to the layout
Here is an example from the links page (we've kept a border so you can see the compartments or cells - but you can make this invisible
The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois Beginner's Guide to HTML. Superb online tutorial with downloadable sections. Well worth the visit
HTML an Interactive Tutorial for Beginners.
Another superb tutorial site on how to get started at www.davsite.com. Explains with ease how to make your own site from beginning to end.
See how this 2 by 2 table neatly boxes text and graphics into individual cells. The size of each cell is fixed. You can also alter the colour or background of each cell or the table as a whole relative the page. For example
We also use tables to control the layout of our page. We divide the page up into a cell for the menu and one for the bulk of the page with a small gutter cell between. The whole table is limited to 680 pixels across (see our webpage advice tutorial as to why that was chosen)
Cells that run across in a table (i.e. the yellow and blue ones in the table above are called rows. The vertical sequence of cells (e.g. the red and yellow) are called columns.
Creating a Table
This can be done in 2 ways.
Either click table icon or click on insert -> table.
With composer 6.x you get a simplistic menu
Composer 4.x gives you more initial options. You can get these with 6.x if you hit Advanced edit (x)
(1) In both cases just specify the size of your table in rows and columns you want on your table and hit OK. We'll explain the other options later
You should see your basic table.
Inserting text and graphics
This is easy.
Just left click over the target cell and begin typing, adding image etc. - just as before
The whole table
Remeber those other options.
Well you can either select them when creating the table or by right click over table and selecting table properties (you can just click over a cell too and select cell properties and then select the table Tag)
In both initial menues you can set the following
specifies minimum width for table either in pixels or percentages (e.g.. If select 100% will fill whole width of screen)
Sets the thickness in pixels of any border around all the cells
border of 3
border of 10
With composer 4.x you have direct choice of these other options (2-4) at set up (6.x users can get the same if they click Advanced edit (x)and select the attribute either predefine (below (i)) or define additional ones (ii)
Just as with normal text
Defines the space between the edge of a cell and its contents e.g.
Space between each cell
specifies the minimum height
You can set the table background as well.
With 4.x just use the table background area on the menu (4) where you can define either a colour or background image. 6.x users need to set the bgcolor attribute via the pull down attribute menu (ii)
Editing cells, rows and columns
You can define specific functions for rows columns or even individual cells
Right clicking over target cell and select either cell, row or column properties (alternatively click table properties, then click cell tab
Most functions are similar to the ones used to define the tables above (background, width etc.)
Here are the major other ones
vertical alignment is useful if the contents of the cell on one side of the target cell is high vertically then you can set position of the information in the target cell.
Horizontal alignment is just like for normal text
This Cell the biggest in terms of content so determines the hight of the table
in this vertical alignment
is set at middle as is its horizontal
..Here it is
Most tables are simple squares (e.g. 3 x 4 or 2 x 2). However you might want a table with unequal no of cells
This table has 3 cells. The one on the left spans 2 rows
Width & Height
specifies minimum width and height for cell either in pixels or percentages (e.g.. If select 50% will fill 50% of width of table)
sets cell background
Inserting and deleting Rows and columns and cells
Simply right click on a cell and select table insert/insert. You are then given options to insert row, column or cell.
You can delete things in the same fashion
You can do the same from the table menues at the top