th (HTML element)

Spec
Depr. Empty Version
No No HTML 2
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+ CH2+
Full Full Full Full Full

Syntax

<th abbr="string" axis="string" colspan="number" headers="cell ID …" rowspan="number" scope=" { col | colgroup | row | rowgroup } " >
</th>

Description

You can use two kinds of table cells: the td can be used for any kind of data, while the th element is reserved for cells that contain header information. Despite the word “head,” this element isn’t used exclusively for a table heading that appears at the top of a table; it can equally be applied to any other cell in a table.

The th element renders the text content it contains slightly differently from the td—in the case of the browsers tested, the rendered style makes the font bold and centered (and this convention is unlikely to change soon). Centered headings are not always desirable, though, and you can use the align attribute to override this (or better still, use CSS to change the alignment).

As a structural element which conveys some orientation information about the data that may follow, the th has some special attributes that reinforce the relationship between header and data cells, namely the axis, headers, id, and scope attributes.

Finally, this element uses the colspan and rowspan attributes when the content of the cell needs to run across multiple columns or rows.

Example

This th defines the two cells in the first row as table headers:

<table summary="Interest Rates" width="400" border="1">
  <caption>Interest Rates</caption>
  <tr>
    <th>Account Type</th>
    <th>Interest Rate (%)</th>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>Smart</td>
    <td>From 2%</td>
  </tr>
  <tr>
    <td>Young Saver</td>
    <td>From 1.6%</td>
  </tr>
</table>

Use This For …

This element is used to identify a table cell whose content is a header of some kind; for example, you might use it to identify the top-most cell, containing the words “Make of Car,” in a column that contains a list of car manufacturers.

Compatibility

Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera Chrome
5.5 6.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 3.5 1.3 2.0 3.1 4.0 9.2 9.5 10.0 2.0
Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full

It causes no compatibility issues, and has excellent support across all tested browsers.

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