4.9.10 The th element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As a child of a tr element.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no header, footer, sectioning content, or heading content descendants.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
colspan
rowspan
headers
scope
abbr
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableHeaderCellElement : HTMLTableCellElement {
           attribute DOMString scope;
           attribute DOMString abbr;
};

The th element represents a header cell in a table.

The th element may have a scope content attribute specified. The scope attribute is an enumerated attribute with five states, four of which have explicit keywords:

The row keyword, which maps to the row state
The row state means the header cell applies to some of the subsequent cells in the same row(s).
The col keyword, which maps to the column state
The column state means the header cell applies to some of the subsequent cells in the same column(s).
The rowgroup keyword, which maps to the row group state
The row group state means the header cell applies to all the remaining cells in the row group. A th element's scope attribute must not be in the row group state if the element is not anchored in a row group.
The colgroup keyword, which maps to the column group state
The column group state means the header cell applies to all the remaining cells in the column group. A th element's scope attribute must not be in the column group state if the element is not anchored in a column group.
The auto state
The auto state makes the header cell apply to a set of cells selected based on context.

The scope attribute's missing value default is the auto state.

The th element may have an abbr content attribute specified. Its value must be an alternative label for the header cell, to be used when referencing the cell in other contexts (e.g. when describing the header cells that apply to a data cell). It is typically an abbreviated form of the full header cell, but can also be an expansion, or merely a different phrasing.

The th element and its colspan, rowspan, headers, and scope attributes take part in the table model.

The scope IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name, limited to only known values.

The abbr IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name.

The following example shows how the scope attribute's rowgroup value affects which data cells a header cell applies to.

Here is a markup fragment showing a table:

<table>
 <thead>
  <tr> <th> ID <th> Measurement <th> Average <th> Maximum
 <tbody>
  <tr> <td> <th scope=rowgroup> Cats <td> <td>
  <tr> <td> 93 <th scope=row> Legs <td> 3.5 <td> 4
  <tr> <td> 10 <th scope=row> Tails <td> 1 <td> 1
 <tbody>
  <tr> <td> <th scope=rowgroup> English speakers <td> <td>
  <tr> <td> 32 <th scope=row> Legs <td> 2.67 <td> 4
  <tr> <td> 35 <th scope=row> Tails <td> 0.33 <td> 1
</table>

This would result in the following table:

ID Measurement Average Maximum
Cats
93 Legs 3.5 4
10 Tails 1 1
English speakers
32 Legs 2.67 4
35 Tails 0.33 1

The headers in the first row all apply directly down to the rows in their column.

The headers with the explicit scope attributes apply to all the cells in their row group other than the cells in the first column.

The remaining headers apply just to the cells to the right of them.