HTML and CSS Reference
To show how tables are rendered, layout_order.html progressively adds styles to the whole table, followed
by a group of two columns, a single column within that group, a group of two rows, an individual row within that
group, and finally two individual cells (see Figure 14-5 ).
Figure 14-5. Table elements are layered on top of each other in a specific order
Each style, apart from the one applied to the individual cells, uses a lighter shade of gray, which should make
it obvious that it's being painted on top of the previous one and obscuring it.
■ if you keep this six-stage process in mind, it will help you understand why a background style is being
applied in a particular way—or more often, why a style isn't working as expected. All browsers work this way, so
you don't need to worry about anomalies with older browsers.
Styling Tables with CSS
CSS has five properties dedicated to controlling the structure of tables. These are listed in Table 14-1 . Also listed
are text-align and vertical-align , which are frequently used with tables.