Composer: An Introduction
Tutorial 6: Working with Tables
Alignment of text and images is a serious problem
in HTML documents. Tabs don't work in HTML like they do in MSWord.
You can't use tabs to line up columns, for example. You can't just keep
hitting the space bar, either. If you have more than one line
of text you want to line up with an image, you will find that everything
goes out of whack. So, to solve most alignment problems, you will
want to use tables. These are very easy to do with the table tool
in Netscape Composer.
Setting up a table:
Let's assume you have a picture along with a three
or four line description. You want the picture to appear on the right
side of the page and the text to appear next to it on the left. To
pull off this seemingly simple task, you will need to use a table because
you have more than one line of text. To insert a table in your page,
click on the table icon pictured above. The following dialogue box
will open up:
||First, set the number of columns you will need. (One row is sufficient-we'll
add more as we go along).
Set the table alignment (right, left, center) for where it will appear
on the page.
If you do not want a border around your table, change the border line
width to zero. If you want a wider border, put in a larger number
Set cell spacing and cell padding (usually 3).
Set the table width. I like about 85% or 90%.
Uncheck "equal column widths" so that they will adjust automatically
to the content.
If you want a color for your table, select it. Same goes for an
Then click OK.
Border vs. no border
If you have chosen to use a border with your table,
the border will appear in Composer exactly as it will appear in Navigator.
If, however, you have chosen not to use a border, you will still see a
double dotted line around your table in Composer to delineate the table
area. This will NOT be visible in Navigator. It is simply a
visually defined work area.
Alignment of a table
The table alignment choices in the box above refer
to where the table will appear on the page. You can have it flush
left (right next to the left margin), flush right (next to the right margin)
Changing background or colors of a table
You can select a color for the background of your
table by clicking on the blank button next to the "Use Color" choice in
the box above. The same color palette you're used to will pop up:
choose one of these colors by clicking on it, or click on "other" to make
the full color palette available. I have never seen a table with
an image background, but I suppose anything is possible!
Moving around in a table
Let's assume we have inserted a table with one row,
two columns, no border, 30% of page, centered. It would look like
To move from the left cell to the right cell, press TAB. To move
back from the right to the left, press SHIFT + TAB.
To add another row, place your cursor at the end of the last cell (the
one on the right) and press TAB. A new row will automatically appear.
What can you put in the cells of a table?
You can put text or images in the cell of a table.
To insert text, click your cursor in the cell
where you want the text to appear. Begin typing. If you hit
"Enter," the cell will automatically expand to accommodate the new line
within that cell.
To insert an image in a cell, click your
cursor in the cell where you want the image to appear. Then click
on the image icon , choose
the image file you want and click "OK." The image will now appear
in the cell. You can make it a link (click on the image to select
it, then click on the link icon ,
select the file or page you want to link to, click OK to close the dialogue
box) or align it within the cell (click on the image to select it, then
click on the alignment icon
and choose left, right or center).
Adding or deleting parts of a table
To add a row,
place your cursor in the last cell of the table (lower right-hand corner)
and press TAB.
To add a column,
place your cursor in the cell TO THE LEFT of where you want the new column
to appear. Click the RIGHT mouse button and the following menu will
To delete all or part of a table, place your cursor
inside the table, click the RIGHT mouse button and the menu above will
appear. This time select "DELETE" and you will have the same four
choices: you can delete the entire table, the row you are in, the
column you are in, or the cell you are in.
||Click on "Insert" and you will have four choices:
Select "insert column" and it will appear to the right.
Changing table properties
You can at any time change the basic characteristics
of your table. Place your cursor within the table, click the RIGHT
mouse button, and the menu above will appear. This time, click on
"Table Properties" and you will go back to the original menu of choices
you used to set up your table. You can change any of these properties,
click "OK" and the changes will take effect immediately.
© 2000 by Pat Pecoy
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