Tables: the easy way to locate things




Tables on this page
Text on this page
Colors on this page
Links on this page
Picture on this page


   html code


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29 May 05
Portland -- at the end of the 19th Century

This material is located on the page using tables.

 The main part of the page is a single table, centered on the page and set to 780 pixels wide with no particular height: what goes into it will determine its height.  It has two cells, 250 pixels wide on the left and 530 pixels on the right.

The cell on the left is given a green color (#caffca)  with the "cell background color" setting.  The cell on the right is colored gray (#e1e1e1).

The page itself is tiled with a background image of white stars on a blue background.

Next comes a rectangle within the cell.  It's a table within the cell of the main table.  Its width is set to 95% of the width of the cell is resides in.  Its background color is set to a lighter shade of gray (#f4f4f4) than the cell.

Netscape Composer
change the cell settings

Right click somewhere in the table, and then click on "Table Cell Properties."  The dialog box you get will be somewhat self explanatory.  A litttle extra help:  "Cell padding" is space between the edges of the cell and the words (or graphics).  The height of a table or cell will stretch to whatever you put in the cell, but you can force cell height to something larger by specifying some large number of pixels.

Netscape v. 4.7 allows you specify a background image within a table or cell within a table: v. 7 does not allow this somewhat useful feature.  (It can be used to put text over an image without writing the text on with a image-processing software--you specify the cell size to be the image size, then use the image as background of the cell and write over it with ordinary text.  However, the viewer can set the font size of your prose so large that it will force the cell size to be larger than your picture.  The picture will then be repeated -- as is the starry background of this page.

This is an important lesson.  When we design web pages, we must consider that browsers let the viewer make a lot of adjustments: font size, turning off graphics, colors of links, etc.   What we put into the page may not show up as we expected.

As web page code--and browsers that interpret it--get more and more elaborate, older features are dropped out of what's permissible.

Look at the following complex set of tables with your editing software: