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Syntax <THEAD>...</THEAD>
Attribute Specifications
  • ALIGN=[ left | center | right | justify | char ] (horizontal alignment of cells in group)
  • CHAR=Character (alignment character for cells)
  • CHAROFF=Length (alignment character offset)
  • VALIGN=[ top | middle | bottom | baseline ] (vertical alignment of cells in group)
  • common attributes
Contents One or more TR elements
Contained in TABLE

The THEAD element defines a group of header rows in a table. A TABLE may have one THEAD, which must follow any CAPTION, COL, or COLGROUP elements, and precede the optional TFOOT and required TBODY elements.

By explicitly grouping header rows with THEAD, authors give browsers the ability to include the header rows on each page of a printed, multi-page table, as well as the ability to present a long table with a scrolling body and static header rows. While few browsers currently support THEAD, it can be used with no harm on non-supporting browsers.

The following example uses THEAD to group the two header rows of a table:

<TABLE SUMMARY="This table gives the character entity reference,
                decimal character reference, and hexadecimal character
                reference for 8-bit Latin-1 characters, as well as the
                rendering of each in your browser.">
      <TH SCOPE=col ROWSPAN=2>Character</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col ROWSPAN=2>Entity</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col ROWSPAN=2>Decimal</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col ROWSPAN=2>Hex</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=colgroup COLSPAN=3>Rendering in Your Browser</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col>Entity</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col>Decimal</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col>Hex</TH>
      <TD SCOPE=row>non-breaking space</TD>

In addition to the attributes common to most elements, THEAD takes presentational attributes for specifying the alignment of cell data. Since few browsers support THEAD, authors may wish to specify these attributes on the TR, TH, or TD elements instead.

The ALIGN attribute specifies the horizontal alignment for each cell in the row group. Possible values are left, center, right, justify, and char. ALIGN=char aligns a cell's contents on the character given in the CHAR attribute. The default value for the CHAR attribute is the decimal point of the current language--a period in English. The CHAROFF attribute specifies the offset to the first occurrence of the alignment character. The attribute's value is a number in pixels or a percentage of the cell's width; CHAROFF="50%" centers the alignment character horizontally in a cell.

The VALIGN attribute specifies the vertical position of a cell's contents. Possible values are:

  • top, which positions data at the top of the cell;
  • middle, the default value, which centers the cell data vertically;
  • bottom, which positions data at the bottom of the cell;
  • baseline, which specifies that the first line of each cell in the row with VALIGN=baseline should occur on a common baseline.

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