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Table Creation and Formatting in Adobe CS5 Dreamweaver

Adobe Creative Suite 5 (Adobe CS5) Dreamweaver supports creation and formatting of tables in your website. When you think of a table, think of a grid, like a spreadsheet. You can change the colors of cells in tables, divide or span the cells (combine them with other cells), and apply borders to them.

In some cases, you don’t see the table itself because you can place content into row and column form without showing the table; in this case, it’s just a formatting tool. When you create a table, you can determine how many rows and columns it contains. You can also choose to span rows and columns to create unique tables.

A table with rows and columns merged.
A table with rows and columns merged.
  1. Put the cursor where you want the table to appear, make sure that the Common tab on the Insert panel is visible, and then click the Table button.

    Alternatively, you can choose Insert→Table. Whichever method you use, the Table dialog box appears.

    Set table specifications in the Table dialog box.
    Set table specifications in the Table dialog box.
  2. Enter or select the attributes of the table you want to create:

    • Rows: In the Rows text box, enter the number of rows you want in the table. Rows stack vertically and can be added or deleted after you create the table.

    • Columns: In the Columns text box, enter the number of columns you want in the table. Columns are created horizontally across a table and can be added or deleted after you create it.

    • Table Width: Enter a width measurement in the Table Width text box and then select a measurement (Pixels or Percent) from the drop-down list to the right. Table width sets the default size for the table. At 100 percent, the table occupies 100 percent of your web page, changing size when the page is resized. Enter a pixel value to ensure that the table always stays the same size.

    • Border Thickness: Enter (in pixels) the thickness you want for the width of the border surrounding the cells and outside the table. If you want to see no table formatting, type 0 in the Border Thickness text box. In Design view, you still see a dashed table border. You see true borders when you view the page in a browser or in Live view.

    • Cell Padding: Enter a number in the Cell Padding text box if you want to create a margin around all content inside the cell.

    • Cell Spacing: Enter a number in the Cell Spacing text box if you want to push cells apart.

    • Header: Select the type of header you want to include in your table (or select None if you want no headers).

    • Accessibility: Add a caption that’s relevant to your table in the Caption text box. In the Summary area, include several lines of text to provide more information about the purpose of the table.

  3. Click OK.

    Your table is created.

When working with tables, try to take advantage of the Expanded table feature in Dreamweaver. (Find the Expanded button in the Layout section of the Insert panel.) Expanded view adds cell padding and spacing in a table and increases the size of the border to make selection easier. For an accurate preview, return to Standard view (click the Standard button in the Layout section of the Insert panel) after you finish editing.

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