The HTMLTableRowElement.insertCell() method inserts a new cell (<td>) into a table row (<tr>) and returns a reference to the cell.

Note: insertCell() inserts the cell directly into the row. The cell does not need to be appended separately with Node.appendChild() as would be the case if Document.createElement() had been used to create the new <td> element.

You can not use insertCell() to create a new <th> element though.


var newCell = HTMLTableRowElement.insertCell(index);

HTMLTableRowElement is a reference to an HTML <tr> element.


index Optional
index is the cell index of the new cell. If index is -1 or equal to the number of cells, the cell is appended as the last cell in the row. If index is greater than the number of cells, an IndexSizeError exception will result. If index is omitted it defaults to -1.

Return value

newCell is an HTMLTableCellElement that references the new cell.


This example uses HTMLTableElement.insertRow() to append a new row to a table.

We then use insertCell(0) to insert a new cell in the new row. (To be valid HTML, a <tr> must have at least one <td> element.) Finally, we add some text to the cell using Document.createTextNode() and Node.appendChild().


<table id="my-table">
  <tr><td>Row 1</td></tr>
  <tr><td>Row 2</td></tr>
  <tr><td>Row 3</td></tr>


function addRow(tableID) {
  // Get a reference to the table
  let tableRef = document.getElementById(tableID);

  // Insert a row at the end of the table
  let newRow = tableRef.insertRow(-1);

  // Insert a cell in the row at index 0
  let newCell = newRow.insertCell(0);

  // Append a text node to the cell
  let newText = document.createTextNode('New bottom row');

// Call addRow() with the table's ID



Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'HTMLTableRowElement.insertCell()' in that specification.
Living Standard
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 HTML Specification
The definition of 'HTMLTableRowElement.insertCell()' in that specification.
Obsolete Initial definition

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also