Learning Resources
 

Colspan and Rowspan Attributes


Cells may span several rows or columns. The number of rows or columns spanned by a cell is set by the rowspan and colspan attributes for the TH and TD elements.

In this table definition, we specify that the cell in row four, column two should span a total of three columns, including the current column.

Cups of coffee consumed by each senator
NameCupsType of CoffeeSugar?
T. Sexton10EspressoNo
J. Dinnen5DecafYes
A. SoriaNot available

This table might be rendered on a tty device by a visual user agent as follows:

Cups of coffee consumed by each senator
 --------------------------------------
 |   Name  |Cups|Type of Coffee|Sugar?|
 --------------------------------------
 |T. Sexton|10  |Espresso      |No    |
 --------------------------------------
 |J. Dinnen|5   |Decaf         |Yes   |
 --------------------------------------
 |A. Soria |Not available             |
 --------------------------------------

The next example illustrates (with the help of table borders) how cell definitions that span more than one row or column affect the definition of later cells. Consider the following table definition:

1 2 3
4 6
7 8 9

As cell "2" spans the first and second rows, the definition of the second row will take it into account. Thus, the second TD in row two actually defines the row's third cell. Visually, the table might be rendered to a tty device as:

-------------
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 
----|   |----
| 4 |   | 6 |
----|---|----
| 7 | 8 | 9 |
-------------

while a graphical user agent might render this as:

Image of a table with rowspan=2

Note that if the TD defining cell "6" had been omitted, an extra empty cell would have been added by the user agent to complete the row.

Similarly, in the following table definition:

1 2 3
4 6
7 8 9

cell "4" spans two columns, so the second TD in the row actually defines the third cell ("6"):

-------------
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 
--------|----
| 4     | 6 |
--------|----
| 7 | 8 | 9 |
-------------

A graphical user agent might render this as:

Image of a table with colspan=2