table-layout

The table-layout CSS property sets the algorithm used to lay out <table> cells, rows, and columns.

Syntax

/* Keyword values */
table-layout: auto;
table-layout: fixed;

/* Global values */
table-layout: inherit;
table-layout: initial;
table-layout: unset;

Values

auto
By default, most browsers use an automatic table layout algorithm. The widths of the table and its cells are adjusted to fit the content.
fixed

Table and column widths are set by the widths of table and col elements or by the width of the first row of cells. Cells in subsequent rows do not affect column widths.

Under the "fixed" layout method, the entire table can be rendered once the first table row has been downloaded and analyzed. This can speed up rendering time over the "automatic" layout method, but subsequent cell content might not fit in the column widths provided. Cells use the overflow property to determine whether to clip any overflowing content, but only if the table has a known width; otherwise, they won't overflow the cells.

Formal definition

Initial valueauto
Applies totable and inline-table elements
Inheritedno
Computed valueas specified
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

auto | fixed

Examples

Fixed-width tables with text-overflow

This example uses a fixed table layout, combined with the width property, to restrict the table's width. The text-overflow property is used to apply an ellipsis to words that are too long to fit. If the table layout were auto, the table would grow to accommodate its contents, despite the specified width.

HTML

<table>
  <tr><td>Ed</td><td>Wood</td></tr>
  <tr><td>Albert</td><td>Schweitzer</td></tr>
  <tr><td>Jane</td><td>Fonda</td></tr>
  <tr><td>William</td><td>Shakespeare</td></tr>
</table>

CSS

table {
  table-layout: fixed;
  width: 120px;
  border: 1px solid red;
}

td {
  border: 1px solid blue;
  overflow: hidden;
  white-space: nowrap;
  text-overflow: ellipsis;
}

Result

Specifications

Specification
Cascading Style Sheets Level 2 Revision 1 (CSS 2.1) Specification (CSS 2.1)
# width-layout

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also