W3C

HTML 5.2

Editor’s Draft,

4.9. Tabular data

4.9.1. The table element

Categories:
Flow content.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where flow content is expected.
Content model:
In this order: optionally a caption element, followed by zero or more colgroup elements, followed optionally by a thead element, followed by either zero or more tbody elements or one or more tr elements, followed optionally by a tfoot element, optionally intermixed with one or more script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible
Content attributes:
Global attributes
border
Allowed ARIA role attribute values:
table role (default - do not set), Any other role value.
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
Any aria-* attributes applicable to the allowed roles.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableElement : HTMLElement {
  attribute HTMLTableCaptionElement? caption;
  HTMLTableCaptionElement createCaption();
  void deleteCaption();
  attribute HTMLTableSectionElement? tHead;
  HTMLTableSectionElement createTHead();
  void deleteTHead();
  attribute HTMLTableSectionElement? tFoot;
  HTMLTableSectionElement createTFoot();
  void deleteTFoot();
  [SameObject] readonly attribute HTMLCollection tBodies;
  HTMLTableSectionElement createTBody();
  [SameObject] readonly attribute HTMLCollection rows;
  HTMLTableRowElement insertRow(optional long index = -1);
  void deleteRow(long index);
};

The table element represents data with more than one dimension, in the form of a table.

The table element takes part in the table model. Tables have rows, columns, and cells given by their descendants. The rows and columns form a grid; a table’s cells must completely cover that grid without overlap.

Precise rules for determining whether this conformance requirement is met are described in the description of the table model.

Authors are encouraged to provide information describing how to interpret complex tables. Guidance on how to provide such information is given below.

Tables should not be used as layout aids.

Historically, many Web authors have tables in HTML as a way to control their page layout making it difficult to extract tabular data from such documents.

In particular, users of accessibility tools, like screen readers, are likely to find it very difficult to navigate pages with tables used for layout.

If a table is to be used for layout it must be marked with the attribute role="presentation" for a user agent to properly represent the table to an assistive technology and to properly convey the intent of the author to tools that wish to extract tabular data from the document.

There are a variety of alternatives to using HTML tables for layout, primarily using CSS positioning and the CSS table model. [CSS-2015]

The border content attribute may be specified on a table element to explicitly indicate that the table element is not being used for layout purposes. If specified, the attribute’s value must either be the empty string or the value "1". The attribute is used by certain user agents as an indication that borders should be drawn around cells of the table.


Tables can be complicated to understand and navigate. To help users with this, user agents should clearly delineate cells in a table from each other, unless the user agent has classified the table as a layout table.

Authors and implementors are encouraged to consider using some of the table design techniques described below to make tables easier to navigate for users.

User agents, especially those that do table analysis on arbitrary content, are encouraged to find heuristics to determine which tables actually contain data and which are merely being used for layout. This specification does not define a precise heuristic, but the following are suggested as possible indicators:

Feature Indication
The use of the role attribute with the value presentation Probably a layout table
The use of the border attribute with the non-conforming value 0 Probably a layout table
The use of the non-conforming cellspacing and cellpadding attributes with the value 0 Probably a layout table
The use of caption, thead, or th elements Probably a non-layout table
The use of the headers and scope attributes Probably a non-layout table
The use of the border attribute with a value other than 0 Probably a non-layout table
Explicit visible borders set using CSS Probably a non-layout table
The use of the non-conforming summary attribute Not a good indicator (both layout and non-layout tables have historically been given this attribute)

It is quite possible that the above suggestions are wrong. Implementors are urged to provide feedback elaborating on their experiences with trying to create a layout table detection heuristic.

If a table element has a (non-conforming) summary attribute, and the user agent has not classified the table as a layout table, the user agent may report the contents of that attribute to the user.


table . caption [ = value ]

Returns the table’s caption element.

Can be set, to replace the caption element.

caption = table . createCaption()

Ensures the table has a caption element, and returns it.

table . deleteCaption()

Ensures the table does not have a caption element.

table . tHead [ = value ]

Returns the table’s thead element.

Can be set, to replace the thead element. If the new value is not a thead element, throws a HierarchyRequestError exception.

thead = table . createTHead()

Ensures the table has a thead element, and returns it.

table . deleteTHead()

Ensures the table does not have a thead element.

table . tFoot [ = value ]

Returns the table’s tfoot element.

Can be set, to replace the tfoot element. If the new value is not a tfoot element, throws a HierarchyRequestError exception.

tfoot = table . createTFoot()

Ensures the table has a tfoot element, and returns it.

table . deleteTFoot()

Ensures the table does not have a tfoot element.

table . tBodies

Returns an HTMLCollection of the tbody elements of the table.

tbody = table . createTBody()

Creates a tbody element, inserts it into the table, and returns it.

table . rows

Returns an HTMLCollection of the tr elements of the table.

tr = table . insertRow( [ index ] )

Creates a tr element, along with a tbody if required, inserts them into the table at the position given by the argument, and returns the tr.

The position is relative to the rows in the table. The index -1, which is the default if the argument is omitted, is equivalent to inserting at the end of the table.

If the given position is less than -1 or greater than the number of rows, throws an IndexSizeError exception.

table . deleteRow(index)

Removes the tr element with the given position in the table.

The position is relative to the rows in the table. The index -1 is equivalent to deleting the last row of the table.

If the given position is less than -1 or greater than the index of the last row, or if there are no rows, throws an IndexSizeError exception.

The caption IDL attribute must return, on getting, the first caption element child of the table element, if any, or null otherwise. On setting, the first caption element child of the table element, if any, must be removed, and the new value, if not null, must be inserted as the first node of the table element.

The createCaption() method must return the first caption element child of the table element, if any; otherwise a new caption element must be created, inserted as the first node of the table element, and then returned.

The deleteCaption() method must remove the first caption element child of the table element, if any.

The tHead IDL attribute must return, on getting, the first thead element child of the table element, if any, or null otherwise. On setting, if the new value is null or a thead element, the first thead element child of the table element, if any, must be removed, and the new value, if not null, must be inserted immediately before the first element in the table element that is neither a caption element nor a colgroup element, if any, or at the end of the table if there are no such elements. If the new value is neither null nor a thead element, then a HierarchyRequestError DOM exception must be thrown instead.

The createTHead() method must return the first thead element child of the table element, if any; otherwise a new thead element must be created and inserted immediately before the first element in the table element that is neither a caption element nor a colgroup element, if any, or at the end of the table if there are no such elements, and then that new element must be returned.

The deleteTHead() method must remove the first thead element child of the table element, if any.

The tFoot IDL attribute must return, on getting, the first tfoot element child of the table element, if any, or null otherwise. On setting, if the new value is null or a tfoot element, the first tfoot element child of the table element, if any, must be removed, and the new value, if not null, must be inserted at the end of the table. If the new value is neither null nor a tfoot element, then a HierarchyRequestError DOM exception must be thrown instead.

The createTFoot() method must return the first tfoot element child of the table element, if any; otherwise a new tfoot element must be created and inserted at the end of the table, and then that new element must be returned.

The deleteTFoot() method must remove the first tfoot element child of the table element, if any.

The tBodies attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the table node, whose filter matches only tbody elements that are children of the table element.

The createTBody() method must create a new tbody element, insert it immediately after the last tbody element child in the table element, if any, or at the end of the table element if the table element has no tbody element children, and then must return the new tbody element.

The rows attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the table node, whose filter matches only tr elements that are either children of the table element, or children of thead, tbody, or tfoot elements that are themselves children of the table element. The elements in the collection must be ordered such that those elements whose parent is a thead are included first, in tree order, followed by those elements whose parent is either a table or tbody element, again in tree order, followed finally by those elements whose parent is a tfoot element, still in tree order.

The behavior of the insertRow(index) method depends on the state of the table. When it is called, the method must act as required by the first item in the following list of conditions that describes the state of the table and the index argument:

If index is less than -1 or greater than the number of elements in rows collection:
The method must throw an IndexSizeError exception.
If the rows collection has zero elements in it, and the table has no tbody elements in it:
The method must create a tbody element, then create a tr element, then append the tr element to the tbody element, then append the tbody element to the table element, and finally return the tr element.
If the rows collection has zero elements in it:
The method must create a tr element, append it to the last tbody element in the table, and return the tr element.
If index is -1 or equal to the number of items in rows collection:
The method must create a tr element, and append it to the parent of the last tr element in the rows collection. Then, the newly created tr element must be returned.
Otherwise:
The method must create a tr element, insert it immediately before the indexth tr element in the rows collection, in the same parent, and finally must return the newly created tr element.

When the deleteRow(index) method is called, the user agent must run the following steps:

  1. If index is equal to -1, then index must be set to the number of items in the rows collection, minus one.
  2. Now, if index is less than zero, or greater than or equal to the number of elements in the rows collection, the method must instead throw an IndexSizeError exception, and these steps must be aborted.
  3. Otherwise, the method must remove the indexth element in the rows collection from its parent.
Here is an example of a table being used to mark up a Sudoku puzzle. Observe the lack of headers, which are not necessary in such a table.
<section>
  <h1>Today’s Sudoku</h1>
  <table>
  <colgroup><col><col><col>
  <colgroup><col><col><col>
  <colgroup><col><col><col>
  <tbody>
    <tr> <td> 1 <td>   <td> 3 <td> 6 <td>   <td> 4 <td> 7 <td>   <td> 9
    <tr> <td>   <td> 2 <td>   <td>   <td> 9 <td>   <td>   <td> 1 <td>
    <tr> <td> 7 <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td> 6
  <tbody>
    <tr> <td> 2 <td>   <td> 4 <td>   <td> 3 <td>   <td> 9 <td>   <td> 8
    <tr> <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>
    <tr> <td> 5 <td>   <td>   <td> 9 <td>   <td> 7 <td>   <td>   <td> 1
  <tbody>
    <tr> <td> 6 <td>   <td>   <td>   <td> 5 <td>   <td>   <td>   <td> 2
    <tr> <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>   <td> 7 <td>   <td>   <td>   <td>
    <tr> <td> 9 <td>   <td>   <td> 8 <td>   <td> 2 <td>   <td>   <td> 5
  </table>
</section>
4.9.1.1. Techniques for describing tables

For tables that consist of more than just a grid of cells with headers in the first row and headers in the first column, and for any table in general where the reader might have difficulty understanding the content, authors should include explanatory information introducing the table. This information is useful for all users, but is especially useful for users who cannot see the table, e.g., users of screen readers.

Such explanatory information should introduce the purpose of the table, outline its basic cell structure, highlight any trends or patterns, and generally teach the user how to use the table.

For instance, the following table:

Characteristics with positive and negative sides
Negative Characteristic Positive
Sad Mood Happy
Failing Grade Passing

...could benefit from a description explaining the way the table is laid out, something like "Characteristics are given in the second column, with the negative side in the left column and the positive side in the right column".

There are a variety of ways to include this information, such as:

In prose, surrounding the table
<p id="summary">In the following table, characteristics are
given in the second column, with the negative side in the left column and the positive
side in the right column.</p>
<table aria-describedby="summary">
  <caption>Characteristics with positive and negative sides</caption>
  <thead>
  <tr>
    <th id="n"> Negative
    <th> Characteristic
    <th> Positive
  <tbody>
  <tr>
    <td headers="n r1"> Sad
    <th id="r1"> Mood
    <td> Happy
  <tr>
    <td headers="n r2"> Failing
    <th id="r2"> Grade
    <td> Passing
</table>
    

In the example above the aria-describedby attribute is used to explicitly associate the information with the table for assistive technology users.

Next to the table, in the same figure
<figure aria-labelledby="caption">
 <p>Characteristics are given in the second column, with the
  negative side in the left column and the positive side in the right
  column.</p>
  <table>
  <caption id="caption">Characteristics with positive and negative sides</caption>
  <thead>
    <tr>
    <th id="n"> Negative
    <th> Characteristic
    <th> Positive
  <tbody>
    <tr>
    <td headers="n r1"> Sad
    <th id="r1"> Mood
    <td> Happy
    <tr>
    <td headers="n r2"> Failing
    <th id="r2"> Grade
    <td> Passing
  </table>
</figure>
    

The figure in this example has been labeled by the table caption using aria-labelledby.

Authors may also use other techniques, or combinations of the above techniques, as appropriate.

Regardless of the method used to provide additional descriptive information for a table, if a table needs a caption, authors should use a caption element as it is the most robust method for providing an accessible caption for a table.

The best option, of course, rather than writing a description explaining the way the table is laid out, is to adjust the table such that no explanation is needed.

In the case of the table used in the examples above, a simple rearrangement of the table so that the headers are on the top and left sides removes the need for an explanation as well as removing the need for the use of headers attributes:
<table>
  <caption>Characteristics with positive and negative sides</caption>
  <thead>
  <tr>
    <th> Characteristic
    <th> Negative
    <th> Positive
  <tbody>
  <tr>
    <th> Mood
    <td> Sad
    <td> Happy
  <tr>
    <th> Grade
    <td> Failing
    <td> Passing
</table>
4.9.1.2. Techniques for table design

Good table design is key to making tables more readable and usable.

In visual media, providing column and row borders and alternating row backgrounds can be very effective to make complicated tables more readable.

For tables with large volumes of numeric content, using monospaced fonts can help users see patterns, especially in situations where a user agent does not render the borders. (Unfortunately, for historical reasons, not rendering borders on tables is a common default.)

In speech media, table cells can be distinguished by reporting the corresponding headers before reading the cell’s contents, and by allowing users to navigate the table in a grid fashion, rather than serializing the entire contents of the table in source order.

Authors are encouraged to use CSS to achieve these effects.

User agents are encouraged to render tables using these techniques whenever the page does not use CSS and the table is not classified as a layout table.

4.9.2. The caption element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As the first element child of a table element.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no descendant table elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
Neither tag is omissible
Content attributes:
Global attributes
Allowed ARIA role attribute values:
None
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableCaptionElement : HTMLElement {};

The caption element represents the title of the table that is its parent, if it has a parent and that is a table element.

The caption element takes part in the table model.

When a table element is the only content in a figure element other than the figcaption, the caption element should be omitted in favor of the figcaption.

A caption can introduce context for a table, making it significantly easier to understand.

Consider, for instance, the following table:
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
6 7 8 9 10 11 12

In the abstract, this table is not clear. However, with a caption giving the table’s number (for reference in the main prose) and explaining its use, it makes more sense:

<caption>
<p>Table 1.
<p>This table shows the total score obtained from rolling two
six-sided dice. The first row represents the value of the first die,
the first column the value of the second die. The total is given in
the cell that corresponds to the values of the two dice.
</caption>

This provides the user with more context:

Table 1. This table shows the total score obtained from rolling two six-sided dice. The first row represents the value of the first die, the first column the value of the second die. The total is given in the cell that corresponds to the values of the two dice.
1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
6 7 8 9 10 11 12

4.9.3. The colgroup element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a table element, after any caption elements and before any thead, tbody, tfoot, and tr elements.
Content model:
If the span attribute is present: Nothing.
If the span attribute is absent: Zero or more col and template elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
A colgroup element’s start tag may be omitted if the first thing inside the colgroup element is a col element, and if the element is not immediately preceded by another colgroup element whose end tag has been omitted. (It can’t be omitted if the element is empty.)
Content attributes:
Global attributes
span - Number of columns spanned by the element
Allowed ARIA role attribute values:
None
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableColElement : HTMLElement {
  attribute unsigned long span;
};

The colgroup element represents a group of one or more columns in the table that is its parent, if it has a parent and that is a table element.

If the colgroup element contains no col elements, then the element may have a span content attribute specified, whose value must be a valid non-negative integer greater than zero.

The colgroup element and its span attribute take part in the table model.

The span IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name. The value must be limited to only non-negative numbers greater than zero.

4.9.4. The col element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a colgroup element that doesn’t have a span attribute.
Content model:
Nothing.
Tag omission in text/html:
No end tag.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
span
Allowed ARIA role attribute values:
None
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
DOM interface:
HTMLTableColElement, same as for colgroup elements. This interface defines one member, span.

If a col element has a parent and that is a colgroup element that itself has a parent that is a table element, then the col element represents one or more columns in the column group represented by that colgroup.

The element may have a span content attribute specified, whose value must be a valid non-negative integer greater than zero.

The col element and its span attribute take part in the table model.

The span IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name. The value must be limited to only non-negative numbers greater than zero.

4.9.5. The tbody element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a table element, after any caption, colgroup, and thead elements, but only if there are no tr elements that are children of the table element.
Content model:
Zero or more tr and script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
A tbody element’s start tag may be omitted if the first thing inside the tbody element is a tr element, and if the element is not immediately preceded by a tbody, thead, or tfoot element whose end tag has been omitted. (It can’t be omitted if the element is empty.). A tbody element’s end tag may be omitted if the tbody element is immediately followed by a tbody or tfoot element, or if there is no more content in the parent element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
rowgroup role (default - do not set), Any other role value.
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
Any aria-* attributes applicable to the default or allowed roles.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableSectionElement : HTMLElement {
  [SameObject] readonly attribute HTMLCollection rows;
  HTMLElement insertRow(optional long index = -1);
  void deleteRow(long index);
};

The HTMLTableSectionElement interface is also used for thead and tfoot elements.

The tbody element represents a block of rows that consist of a body of data for the parent table element, if the tbody element has a parent and it is a table.

The tbody element takes part in the table model.

tbody . rows

Returns an HTMLCollection of the tr elements of the table section.

tr = tbody . insertRow( [ index ] )

Creates a tr element, inserts it into the table section at the position given by the argument, and returns the tr.

The position is relative to the rows in the table section. The index -1, which is the default if the argument is omitted, is equivalent to inserting at the end of the table section.

If the given position is less than -1 or greater than the number of rows, throws an IndexSizeError exception.

tbody . deleteRow(index)

Removes the tr element with the given position in the table section.

The position is relative to the rows in the table section. The index -1 is equivalent to deleting the last row of the table section.

If the given position is less than -1 or greater than the index of the last row, or if there are no rows, throws an IndexSizeError exception.

The rows attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the element, whose filter matches only tr elements that are children of the element.

The insertRow(index) method must, when invoked on an element table section, act as follows:

If index is less than -1 or greater than the number of elements in the rows collection, the method must throw an IndexSizeError exception.

If index is -1 or equal to the number of items in the rows collection, the method must create a tr element, append it to the element table section, and return the newly created tr element.

Otherwise, the method must create a tr element, insert it as a child of the table section element, immediately before the indexth tr element in the rows collection, and finally must return the newly created tr element.

The deleteRow(index) method must, when invoked, act as follows:

If index is less than -1 or greater than the number of elements in the rows collection, the method must throw an IndexSizeError exception.

If index is -1, remove the last element in the rows collection from its parent.

Otherwise, remove the indexth element in the rows collection from its parent.

4.9.6. The thead element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a table element, after any caption, and colgroup elements and before any tbody, tfoot, and tr elements, but only if there are no other thead elements that are children of the table element.
Content model:
Zero or more tr and script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
A thead element’s end tag may be omitted if the thead element is immediately followed by a tbody or tfoot element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
rowgroup role (default - do not set), Any other role value.
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
Any aria-* attributes applicable to the default or allowed roles.
DOM interface:
HTMLTableSectionElement, as defined for tbody elements.

The thead element represents the block of rows that consist of the column labels (headers) for the parent table element, if the thead element has a parent and it is a table.

The thead element takes part in the table model.

This example shows a thead element being used. Notice the use of both th and td elements in the thead element: the first row is the headers, and the second row is an explanation of how to fill in the table.
<table>
  <caption> School auction sign-up sheet </caption>
 <thead>
  <tr>
    <th><label for=e1>Name</label>
    <th><label for=e2>Product</label>
    <th><label for=e3>Picture</label>
    <th><label for=e4>Price</label>
  <tr>
    <td>Your name here
    <td>What are you selling?
    <td>Link to a picture
    <td>Your reserve price
 <tbody>
  <tr>
    <td>Ms Danus
    <td>Doughnuts
    <td><img src="https://example.com/mydoughnuts.png" title="Doughnuts from Ms Danus">
    <td>$45
  <tr>
    <td><input id=e1 type=text name=who required form=f>
    <td><input id=e2 type=text name=what required form=f>
    <td><input id=e3 type=url name=pic form=f>
    <td><input id=e4 type=number step=0.01 min=0 value=0 required form=f>
</table>
<form id=f action="/auction.cgi">
  <input type=button name=add value="Submit">
</form>

4.9.7. The tfoot element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a table element, after any caption, colgroup, thead, tbody, and tr elements, but only if there are no other tfoot elements that are children of the table element.
Content model:
Zero or more tr and script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
A tfoot element’s end tag may be omitted if the tfoot element is immediately followed by a tbody element, or if there is no more content in the parent element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
rowgroup role (default - do not set), Any other role value.
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
Any aria-* attributes applicable to the default or allowed roles.
DOM interface:
HTMLTableSectionElement, as defined for tbody elements.

The tfoot element represents the block of rows that consist of the column summaries (footers) for the parent table element, if the tfoot element has a parent and it is a table.

The tfoot element takes part in the table model.

4.9.8. The tr element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a thead element.
As a child of a tbody element.
As a child of a tfoot element.
As a child of a table element, after any caption, colgroup, and thead elements, but only if there are no tbody elements that are children of the table element.
Content model:
Zero or more td, th, and script-supporting elements.
Tag omission in text/html:
A tr element’s end tag may be omitted if the tr element is immediately followed by another tr element, or if there is no more content in the parent element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
row role (default - do not set), Any other role value.
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
Any aria-* attributes applicable to the default or allowed roles.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableRowElement : HTMLElement {
  readonly attribute long rowIndex;
  readonly attribute long sectionRowIndex;
  [SameObject] readonly attribute HTMLCollection cells;
  HTMLElement insertCell(optional long index = -1);
  void deleteCell(long index);
};

The tr element represents a row of cells in a table.

The tr element takes part in the table model.

tr . rowIndex

Returns the position of the row in the table’s rows list.

Returns -1 if the element isn’t in a table.

tr . sectionRowIndex

Returns the position of the row in the table section’s rows list.

Returns -1 if the element isn’t in a table section.

tr . cells

Returns an HTMLCollection of the td and th elements of the row.

cell = tr . insertCell( [ index ] )

Creates a td element, inserts it into the table row at the position given by the argument, and returns the td.

The position is relative to the cells in the row. The index -1, which is the default if the argument is omitted, is equivalent to inserting at the end of the row.

If the given position is less than -1 or greater than the number of cells, throws an IndexSizeError exception.

tr . deleteCell(index)

Removes the td or th element with the given position in the row.

The position is relative to the cells in the row. The index -1 is equivalent to deleting the last cell of the row.

If the given position is less than -1 or greater than the index of the last cell, or if there are no cells, throws an IndexSizeError exception.

The rowIndex attribute must, if the element has a parent table element, or a parent tbody, thead, or tfoot element and a grandparent table element, return the index of the tr element in that table element’s rows collection. If there is no such table element, then the attribute must return -1.

The sectionRowIndex attribute must, if the element has a parent table, tbody, thead, or tfoot element, return the index of the tr element in the parent element’s rows collection (for tables, that’s the HTMLTableElement.rows collection; for table sections, that’s the HTMLTableRowElement.rows collection). If there is no such parent element, then the attribute must return -1.

The cells attribute must return an HTMLCollection rooted at the tr element, whose filter matches only td and th elements that are children of the tr element.

The insertCell(index) method must act as follows:

If index is less than -1 or greater than the number of elements in the cells collection, the method must throw an IndexSizeError exception.

If index is equal to -1 or equal to the number of items in cells collection, the method must create a td element, append it to the tr element, and return the newly created td element.

Otherwise, the method must create a td element, insert it as a child of the tr element, immediately before the indexth td or th element in the cells collection, and finally must return the newly created td element.

The deleteCell(index) method must act as follows:

If index is less than -1 or greater than the number of elements in the cells collection, the method must throw an IndexSizeError exception.

If index is -1, remove the last element in the cells collection from its parent.

Otherwise, remove the indexth element in the cells collection from its parent.

4.9.9. The td element

Categories:
Sectioning root.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a tr element.
Content model:
Flow content.
Tag omission in text/html:
A td element’s end tag may be omitted if the td element is immediately followed by a td or th element, or if there is no more content in the parent element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
colspan - Number of columns that the cell is to span
rowspan - Number of rows that the cell is to span
headers - The header cells for this cell
cell role (default - do not set), Any other role value.
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
Any aria-* attributes applicable to the default or allowed roles.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableDataCellElement : HTMLTableCellElement {};

The td element represents a data cell in a table.

The td element and its colspan, rowspan, and headers attributes take part in the table model.

User agents, especially in non-visual environments or where displaying the table as a 2D grid is impractical, may give the user context for the cell when rendering the contents of a cell; for instance, giving its position in the table model, or listing the cell’s header cells (as determined by the algorithm for assigning header cells). When a cell’s header cells are being listed, user agents may use the value of abbr attributes on those header cells, if any, instead of the contents of the header cells themselves.

4.9.10. The th element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a tr element.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no header, footer, sectioning content, or heading content descendants
Tag omission in text/html:
A th element’s end tag may be omitted if the th element is immediately followed by a td or th element, or if there is no more content in the parent element.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
colspan - Number of columns that the cell is to span
rowspan - Number of rows that the cell is to span
headers - The headers for this cell
scope - Specifies which cells the header cell applies to
abbr - Alternative label to use for the header cell when referencing the cell in other contexts
columnheader or rowheader role (default - do not set), Any other role value.
Allowed ARIA state and property attributes:
Global aria-* attributes
Any aria-* attributes applicable to the default or allowed roles.
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableHeaderCellElement : HTMLTableCellElement {
  attribute DOMString scope;
  attribute DOMString abbr;
};

The th element represents a header cell in a table.

The th element may have a scope content attribute specified. The scope attribute is an enumerated attribute with five states, four of which have explicit keywords:

The row keyword, which maps to the row state
The row state means the header cell applies to some of the subsequent cells in the same row(s).
The col keyword, which maps to the column state
The column state means the header cell applies to some of the subsequent cells in the same column(s).
The rowgroup keyword, which maps to the row group state
The row group state means the header cell applies to all the remaining cells in the row group. A th element’s scope attribute must not be in the row group state if the element is not anchored in a row group.
The colgroup keyword, which maps to the column group state
The colgroup group state means the header cell applies to all the remaining cells in the column group. A th element’s scope attribute must not be in the column group state if the element is not anchored in a column group.
The auto state
The auto state makes the header cell apply to a set of cells selected based on context.

The scope attribute’s missing value default is the auto state.

The th element may have an abbr content attribute specified. Its value must be an alternative label for the header cell, to be used when referencing the cell in other contexts (e.g., when describing the header cells that apply to a data cell). It is typically an abbreviated form of the full header cell, but can also be an expansion, or merely a different phrasing.

The th element and its colspan, rowspan, headers, and scope attributes take part in the table model.

The scope IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name, limited to only known values.

The abbr IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name.

The following example shows how the scope attribute’s rowgroup value affects which data cells a header cell applies to.

Here is a markup fragment showing a table:

The tbody elements in this example identify the range of the row groups.

<table>
    <caption>Measurement of legs and tails in Cats and English speakers</caption>
  <thead>
  <tr> <th> ID <th> Measurement <th> Average <th> Maximum
  <tbody>
  <tr> <td> <th scope=rowgroup> Cats <td> <td>
  <tr> <td> 93 <th scope=row> Legs <td> 3.5 <td> 4
  <tr> <td> 10 <th scope=row> Tails <td> 1 <td> 1
  </tbody>
  <tbody>
  <tr> <td> <th scope=rowgroup> English speakers <td> <td>
  <tr> <td> 32 <th scope=row> Legs <td> 2.67 <td> 4
  <tr> <td> 35 <th scope=row> Tails <td> 0.33 <td> 1
  </tbody>
</table>

This would result in the following table:

Measurement of legs and tails in Cats and English speakers
ID Measurement Average Maximum
Cats
93 Legs 3.5 4
10 Tails 1 1
English speakers
32 Legs 2.67 4
35 Tails 0.33 1

The header cells in row 1 ("ID", "Measurement", "Average" and "Maximum") each apply only to the cells in their column.

The header cells with a scope=rowgroup ("Cats" and 'English speakers') apply to all the cells in their row group other than the cells (to their left) in column 1:

The header "Cats" (row 2, column 2) applies to the headers "Legs" (row 3, column 2) and "Tails" (row 4, column 2) and to the data cells in rows 2, 3 and 4 of the "Average" and "Maximum" columns.

The header 'English speakers' (row 5, column 2) applies to the headers "Legs" (row 6, column 2) and "Tails" (row 7, column 2) and to the data cells in rows 5, 6 and 7 of the "Average" and "Maximum" columns.

Each of the "Legs" and "Tails" header cells has a scope=row and therefore apply to the data cells (to the right) in their row, from the "Average" and "Maximum" columns.

Representation of the example table overlayed with arrows indicating which cells each header applies to.

4.9.11. Attributes common to td and th elements

The td and th elements may have a colspan content attribute specified, whose value must be a valid non-negative integer greater than zero.

The td and th elements may also have a rowspan content attribute specified, whose value must be a valid non-negative integer. For this attribute, the value zero means that the cell is to span all the remaining rows in the row group.

These attributes give the number of columns and rows respectively that the cell is to span. These attributes must not be used to overlap cells, as described in the table model.


The td and th element may have a headers content attribute specified. The headers attribute, if specified, must contain a string consisting of an unordered set of unique space-separated tokens that are case-sensitive, each of which must have the value of an id of a th element taking part in the same table as the td or th element (as defined by the table model).

A th element with id id is said to be directly targeted by all td and th elements in the same table that have headers attributes whose values include as one of their tokens the ID id. A th element A is said to be targeted by a th or td element B if either A is directly targeted by B or if there exists an element C that is itself targeted by the element B and A is directly targeted by C.

A th element must not be targeted by itself.

The colspan, rowspan, and headers attributes take part in the table model.


The td and th elements implement interfaces that inherit from the HTMLTableCellElement interface:

interface HTMLTableCellElement : HTMLElement {
  attribute unsigned long colSpan;
  attribute unsigned long rowSpan;
  [SameObject, PutForwards=value] readonly attribute DOMTokenList headers;
  readonly attribute long cellIndex;
};
cell . cellIndex

Returns the position of the cell in the row’s cells list. This does not necessarily correspond to the x-position of the cell in the table, since earlier cells might cover multiple rows or columns.

Returns -1 if the element isn’t in a row.

The colSpan IDL attribute must reflect the colspan content attribute. Its default value is 1.

The rowSpan IDL attribute must reflect the rowspan content attribute. Its default value is 1.

The headers IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name.

The cellIndex IDL attribute must, if the element has a parent tr element, return the index of the cell’s element in the parent element’s cells collection. If there is no such parent element, then the attribute must return -1.

4.9.12. Processing model

The various table elements and their content attributes together define the table model.

A table consists of cells aligned on a two-dimensional grid of slots with coordinates (x, y). The grid is finite, and is either empty or has one or more slots. If the grid has one or more slots, then the x coordinates are always in the range 0 ≤ x < xwidth, and the y coordinates are always in the range 0 ≤ y < yheight. If one or both of xwidth and yheight are zero, then the table is empty (has no slots). Tables correspond to table elements.

A cell is a set of slots anchored at a slot (cellx, celly), and with a particular width and height such that the cell covers all the slots with coordinates (x, y) where cellx ≤ x < cellx+width and celly ≤ y < celly+height. Cells can either be data cells or header cells. Data cells correspond to td elements, and header cells correspond to th elements. Cells of both types can have zero or more associated header cells.

It is possible, in certain error cases, for two cells to occupy the same slot.

A row is a complete set of slots from x=0 to x=xwidth-1, for a particular value of y. Rows usually correspond to tr elements, though a row group can have some implied rows at the end in some cases involving cells spanning multiple rows.

A column is a complete set of slots from y=0 to y=yheight-1, for a particular value of x. Columns can correspond to col elements. In the absence of col elements, columns are implied.

A row group is a set of rows anchored at a slot (0, groupy) with a particular height such that the row group covers all the slots with coordinates (x, y) where 0 ≤ x < xwidth and groupy ≤ y < groupy+height. Row groups correspond to tbody, thead, and tfoot elements. Not every row is necessarily in a row group.

A column group is a set of columns anchored at a slot (groupx, 0) with a particular width such that the column group covers all the slots with coordinates (x, y) where groupx ≤ x < groupx+width and 0 ≤ y < yheight. Column groups correspond to colgroup elements. Not every column is necessarily in a column group.

Row groups cannot overlap each other. Similarly, column groups cannot overlap each other.

A cell cannot cover slots that are from two or more row groups. It is, however, possible for a cell to be in multiple column groups. All the slots that form part of one cell are part of zero or one row groups and zero or more column groups.

In addition to cells, columns, rows, row groups, and column groups, tables can have a caption element associated with them. This gives the table a heading, or legend.

A table model error is an error with the data represented by table elements and their descendants. Documents must not have table model errors.

4.9.12.1. Forming a table

User agents must use the following algorithm to determine