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


var cell = HTMLTableRowElement.insertCell(index = -1);
  • HTMLTableRowElement is a reference to an HTML table row element.
  • index is the cell index of the new cell.
  • cell, is assigned a reference to 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.


  <tr id="row0">
    <td>Original cell</td>

function addCell(tableRowID) {
  // Get a reference to the tableRow
  var rowRef = document.getElementById(tableRowID);

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

  // Append a text node to the cell
  var newText  = document.createTextNode('New cell')

// Call addCell() with the ID of a table row

To be valid in an HTML document, a TR must have at least one TD element.

Note that insertCell inserts the cell directly into the table and returns a reference to the new cell. The cell does not need to be appended separately as would be the case if document.createElement() had been used to create the new TD element.


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

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Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support ? (Yes) (Yes)
20.0 (20.0)[1]
? ? ?
Feature Android Chrome for Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? ? (Yes) (Yes)
20.0 (20.0)[1]
? ? ?

[1] Starting with Gecko 20.0 (Firefox 20.0 / Thunderbird 20.0 / SeaMonkey 2.17) the index argument has been made optional and defaults to -1 as per HTML specification.

See also