The Web Design Group

CAPTION - Table Caption

Syntax <CAPTION>...</CAPTION>
Attribute Specifications
Contents Inline elements
Contained in TABLE

The CAPTION element defines a table caption. When used, CAPTION must be the first element in the TABLE. Only inline elements (e.g., STRONG) may be used within CAPTION.

A good caption should provide a short heading for the table. For simple tables, the caption can also act as an adequate summary, but for more complex tables, authors should supplement the CAPTION with a full summary, either through TABLE's SUMMARY attribute or within a paragraph outside of the TABLE. The following example features a simple table where the CAPTION provides a heading and an adequate table summary:

<TABLE>
  <CAPTION>Common Usenet Abbreviations</CAPTION>
  <THEAD>
    <TR>
      <TH>Abbreviation</TH>
      <TH>Long Form</TH>
    </TR>
  </THEAD>
  <TBODY>
    <TR>
      <TD>AFAIK</TD>
      <TD>As Far As I Know</TD>
    </TR>
    <TR>
      <TD>IMHO</TD>
      <TD>In My Humble Opinion</TD>
    </TR>
    <TR>
      <TD>OTOH</TD>
      <TD>On The Other Hand</TD>
    </TR>
  </TBODY>
</TABLE>

The next example uses TABLE's SUMMARY attribute to complement the CAPTION:

<TABLE SUMMARY="This table gives the character entity reference,
                decimal character reference, and hexadecimal character
                reference for symbols and Greek letters.">
  <CAPTION>Symbols and Greek Letters in HTML4.0</CAPTION>
  <COLGROUP>
  <COLGROUP SPAN=3>
  <THEAD>
    <TR>
      <TH SCOPE=col>Character</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col>Entity</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col>Decimal</TH>
      <TH SCOPE=col>Hex</TH>
    </TR>
  </THEAD>
  <TBODY>
    <TR>
      <TD SCOPE=row>Latin small f with hook</TD>
      <TD>&amp;fnof;</TD>
      <TD>&amp;#402;</TD>
      <TD>&amp;#x192;</TD>
    </TR>
    ...
  </TBODY>
</TABLE>

The deprecated ALIGN attribute of CAPTION specifies the alignment of the caption relative to the table. Possible values are top (the default), bottom, left, and right.

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