The border-spacing CSS property specifies the distance between the borders of adjacent <table> cells. This property applies only when border-collapse is separate.

/* <length> */
border-spacing: 2px;

/* horizontal <length> | vertical <length> */
border-spacing: 1cm 2em;

/* Global values */
border-spacing: inherit;
border-spacing: initial;
border-spacing: unset;

The border-spacing value is also used along the outside edge of the table, where the distance between the table's border and the cells in the first/last column or row is the sum of the relevant (horizontal or vertical) border-spacing and the relevant (top, right, bottom, or left) padding on the table.

Note: The border-spacing property is equivalent to the deprecated cellspacing <table> attribute, except that it has an optional second value that can be used to set different horizontal and vertical spacing.

Initial value0
Applies totable and inline-table elements
Computed valuetwo absolute lengths
Animation typediscrete
Canonical orderthe unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar


The border-spacing property may be specified as either one or two values.

  • When one <length> value is specified, it defines both the horizontal and vertical spacings between cells.
  • When two <length> values are specified, the first value defines the horizontal spacing between cells (i.e., the space between cells in adjacent columns), and the second value defines the vertical spacing between cells (i.e., the space between cells in adjacent rows).


The size of the spacing as a fixed value.

Formal syntax

<length> <length>?



table {
  border-spacing: 5px 12px;
  padding: 0 8px 8px 0;
  border: 1px solid orange;

td {
  width: 20px;
  height: 20px;
  border: 1px solid blue;
  text-align: center;



Specification Status Comment
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'border-spacing' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) 8.0 4.0 1.0 (85)
Feature Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support ? (Yes) 1.0 (1.9.2) ? ? ?

See also