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RE: Data tables with empty, decorative TDs


From: julian.rickards@ndm.gov.on.ca
Date: Mar 14, 2003 8:52AM

> One of the sites I'm working on has a bunch of data
> tables. The designer used empty columns and rows with
> spacer.gifs for design effect (to create borders
> between some of the columns and the rows. We don't
> really have time to redo all the tables (redoing them
> so they use CSS instead of empty TDs and TRs to create
> borders).
> Will these tables be readable and understandable? Can
> we keep the empty cells and rows, or do we really have
> to redo these tables?

You may get some replies to the effect "don't bother doing any of the work
unless you plan to do it correctly". I recognize this sentiment but I also
recognize that the time to do something correctly may take time so a quick
and dirty solution may be necessary.

First of all, if you must keep the tables as they are, then the spacer gifs
must have an empty alt="" - a text editor with search and replace would help
such as:

Find: src="spacer.gif"
Replace with: src="spacer.gif" alt=""

On the other hand, if you are using a visual design software such as GoLive,
FrontPage, Dreamweaver or other, you could click and drag to select these
"offending" cells and delete them - the software will rewrite the colspan
and rowspan attributes to match the new layout.



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