Re: <TD WIDTH="25%"> not supported: Why not?

Dave Raggett (
Fri, 30 May 1997 19:03:13 -0400

Message-ID: <>
Date: Fri, 30 May 1997 19:03:13 -0400
From: Dave Raggett <>
To: "R. Nortman" <>
Subject: Re: <TD WIDTH="25%"> not supported: Why not?

R. Nortman wrote:
> In the HTML 3.2 spec, percentages are not allowed for cell width
> specifications, only raw pixel values.  It seems that this is contrary
> to the de-emphasis on physical markup -- how am I supposed to know how
> wide a particular user keeps his browser window?  It would seem to me
> that specifying cell widths as a percentage of total table width is
> more appropriate.  The <hr> tag sets this precedent by allowing width
> to be specified as a percentage of page width, _or_ as fixed pixel
> width.

It was not part of HTML 3.2 for the simple reason it didn't work
across a wide range of browsers as of early 1996. Note that the
browser can automatically work out how wide columns need to be based
upon their content.  The richer model in RFC 1942 allows you to
optionally set column widths in absolute or relative terms. This
is now supported by some browsers and is being considered for
incorporation in the next version of HTML from W3C.  I am also
working on a proposal for specifying table presentation properties
in CSS, including column widths, row heights, borders, alignment
and other properties.
Dave Raggett - <> tel +1 617 258 5741 fax +1 617 258 5999
World Wide Web Consortium 545 Technology Square, Cambridge MA 02139