beginner question for fluid table

I always seem to start out with good intentions using tables and then as a page develops it gets complicated, or I do something to add 2 or 3 hundred pixels to the overall table's width making it wider than the size intended.  So, once again I need to ask for some basics.

I want a centered table that would be suitable for including browsers still at 800x600, yet centered for users with higher resolutions.  I have to use tables within tables for various components on the page.  

Can someone please tell me the GENERAL method to do this?  Do I nest all tables within the outermost table that I presume is set to 100% (always nesting one in another)  or..    do I build tables like stacked bricks within the outermost table?  

Since I am considering browsers with 800 width resoltion, and I want my tables not to exceed their viewable areas, are the inner tables fixed size?

I just need some understanding why I always run into trouble

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welcome to wonderfull world of html tables.

there are a lot of work-arounds for this, such as css.  But to use the stacking bricks method is not recommended.
If you must use tables to do your layout, I prefer nested, BUT be carefull.   Yes the outer table set to 100% will/should use the entire screen.  But ofcourse that depends on the content of the  inner tables.  

It would be best if you have some tables set to absolute sizes and some relative.

Once again, the puch is to use css for the layout.  You will have much less hassle with this types of trouble.
You can also intergrate css with what you are trying o accomplish.

Hope this helps you.

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If you use design view in DW, you will ALWAYS run into problems. I don't know that you are, but if you are, learn HTML and use design view for roughing out things, code view for finalizing.

And I'll second the use of CSS -- it will make your life MUCH easier in the long run.
linqueAuthor Commented:
thanks   - opening CSS books once again to try to retrain myself  (and..yup, I use DW so I will avoid relying upon the design view as much as possible)
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