View Full Version : Stretching Tables Problem

12-24-2006, 10:30 PM
Hi Guys,

Im just looking for a bit of help with a layout that I am making in Dreamweaver. However when over a certain length of text is typed into my table area, other parts of the site also start stretching with it. Is there any way of having the cells of a table to be individual of others.

If you go here - http://1414squadronatc.org.uk/NewSite/staff.htm you can see that the sublinks has stretched along with the rest of the page. However I would like it to remain the same size as it is on the other pages. Anyhelp would be appreciated.


12-24-2006, 11:33 PM
A table usually consists of rows and columns to display tabular data that is related to each other (e.g. sports results, stock exchange data, address/telephone lists, distance tables, etc.) so the cells in a row or column are always kinda connected to each other and not supposed to be individual, as you might agree with me...

Using tables for layout became (bad) practice somewhere in the middle of the 90's and is a very outdated, yet unfortunately still widely used technique. You should, however, not rely on the design mode of those HTML editors and use current methods of website devlopment instead, the thinking behind which is basically to separate the structure/information of a website from the design/layout/visual appearance using semantic HTML (http://brainstormsandraves.com/articles/semantics/structure/) code for the structure and CSS (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascading_Style_Sheets) for the layout.

Your site is basically a two column layout (left, narrow column with links, right, wide column for the content) so you should look into the tutorial (http://bonrouge.com/2c-hf-fixed.php) Bon Rouge is providing. This way you learn something about how HTML is structured today and also about what can be done with CSS. I can tell you already, if done well, it's like a walk on clouds to add or remove content later on as the layout will adapt appropriately without breaking. CSS based layouts can be much more flexible than those rigid table structures.

And last but not least you should use a document type declaration (http://alistapart.com/stories/doctype/) (Dreamweaver usually generates it automatically on creating a new document if set in the preferences) for proper display across different browsers.

And if you need more basic explanations on HTML and CSS I can recommend http://htmldog.com.

Hope that helps and Good Luck.

12-25-2006, 07:57 PM
Thanks alot for the links and everything ill take a look into all that. I did think CSS may be a better way but have never attempted it before so looks like ill have to give it a go :)