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Tables vs Divs – Collectively written by PWAG members

Jimuelle Isais’ Query

> I would like to know the difference between Table and Div.
> Is there any disadvantages using Table tags in creating layout?
> Because I'm more comfortable using Table in my layouts. However, I
> noticed some designers/developers are using Div tags to form their
> layout. By looking with each out I dont see any difference.

Alfredo Palconit’s Response

>Tables are good for tabular data.
>But as much as possible, try switching to tableless and use xhtml css. 
>Layout wise, divs really easy to update, 
>especially if you have so many pages and you need to update all of them at once.

Jojo Esposa’s Response

>I agree with Alfredo that tables are semantically used for creating
>tabular data. It should not be used for layout purposes. On the
>outside, there is no difference. One distinction lies with the use of
>a screen reader.

>In a screen reader software, one of the first thing it tells when it
>opens the website is what type of layout it uses whether, tabular,
>framed or none. More often it's quite confusing for our visually
>impaired surfers to hear that the screen reader tells it encounters a
>table but there is no data inside. It is always expected that a table
>contains records and fields. A blind person is not interested in the
>beauty of your site. Importante sa kanila kung angkop yung naririnig
>nila.

>Isa pang problema ng table layout is if it makes sense when
>linearized. If you remove all the styles, ano kaya itsura ng website
>mo? You think, the column still follows the same order as with styles
>turned on?

>Ok pa rin naman ang table layouts because it's still widely used and
>can pass the transitional HTML doc type. Pero siguro try mo mag-
>experiment ng tableless layout. Tapos tignan mo ang pagkakaiba. Once
>you get the hang of it, you might not want to go back to table
>layouts anymore. Thank you for posting your question. :-)

Rey Mendoza’s Response

>Div - is short for division, which is meaningfully (semantic) correct to use
>for layouts. You "divide" the page into sections

>Tables - as alfred had mentioned -used for tabular data, should not be used
>for layouts because it is not semantically correct, but you cannot fault
>(old) designers for this, tables have been around longer than CSS, which
>means there were no other options of that time and others had to improvise.

>But if youre a beginning web designer, dont use tables, use CSS positioning
>for layout, you will be on the right path and your web design kungfu
>will be much better in the
>future, not to mention your web design career
References:
  1. Joe Clark’s Building Accessible Websites – http://joeclark.org/book/sashay/serialization/Chapter10.html
  2. Web Design Kung Fu – http://webdesignkungfu.blogspot.com