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How do I constrain the width of a table cell?

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
In the application I'm developing I have about 5 layers of nested lists. Each <li> contains a one row table. This makes it possible to display tabular data on a decreasing level of quantity. And it also makes it possible to have the table/rows hidden and appearing on clicking a parent row.

I would have preferred to have set up one table and use <tbody> tag to differentiate between levels, but that and the table-row-group is not supported by IE 7 or below so I had to come up the the above alternate solution. With one table I would have been more easily able to constrain the width of cells in columns, with all cells in a column having the same assigned width, but I have one-row tables and I'm trying to contrain the width of each cell and no matter what I've done I haven't gotten it to work.

I've tried simply setting the width within the html <td> tag, e.g. <td width="210">

I've tried setting the width with CSS, e.g.
table.rpd_row td.toleft{
	text-align:left;
	min-width:210px;
	width:210px;
	max-width:210px;
}

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Neither of these methods keep the width of the cell at one set width. If a longer text is put in that cell, even though the text is not as wide as the cell, it expands the width of it.

Anyone have an idea how I can handle this?

Thanks
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Question by:denewey
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Accepted Solution

by:
Randy Downs earned 1500 total points
ID: 35217689
Try this - http://vinhboy.com/blog/2009/02/13/ie7-table-width/

Finally I found this property

table-layout: fixed;
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Expert Comment

by:JF0
ID: 35217714
Can you provide a link or source code?
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Author Comment

by:denewey
ID: 35217909
I'm not sure what to make of this.

table-layout: fixed; was an excellent answer, but when I applied it, it handled the tables I was having trouble with and broke the ones that were fine. I'll mess around with is some more and see what I can sort out.

Thanks
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Author Closing Comment

by:denewey
ID: 35218478
This solution made it possible for me to control the cell widths in IE, but now text that wraps gets the bottom of it chopped off and in Firefox the layout is out of whack. The width of the cells are controlled, but the display of each row is wider than it was before, putting it out of proportion to other tables.
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