HTML tables are an extremely important part of the language, and one Web developers use extensively (as they provide the only real way to control exact placement of objects relative to each other). But there is a big downside to using tables, a downside so significant that they should not be overused (and ideally not used for entire pages). Browsers generally attempt to display content as it is available so that users are not staring at a blank screen waiting. This works well for almost everything but tables – tables cannot be displayed at all until the entire table has been received (even parts that will not be visible) because any part of a table, even a part way at the end, can effect the top part (column width for example). So, use tables, but don’t overuse them. And try to avoid placing entire pages in tables – while this does allow for greater screen control, it also creates a worse user experience. (Applies to: ColdFusion All)

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