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  1. #1
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    My instructor started out teaching us how to create a page with tables. As I understand it that is the old way of doing it. Are div's used to set up the page instead of tables? As I understand it you should only use a table unless you are going to have tabular data. Is that correct?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Not only is it an "old" way of doing it, it's the wrong way. However, using just a bunch of div tags is also not necessarily correct. You should use the correct tag for the job, and if one won't do but you still need one, use <div> for a block item or <span> for something inline.

    For example, if you have a list of items that comprise a sidebar, you shouldn't use a table nor a div for it. Instead, a <ul> makes sense because you're representing an unordered list, which is the purpose of the <ul> tag. Tables should only be used for tabular data.

    I can't believe anybody would still teach table-based designs. They were wrong but effectively necessary about 7 or 8 years ago. Now they're wrong and there are limitless ways of acheiving the same result without using tables.
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  4. #3
    Senior Member Hitch - CP's Avatar
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    Sometimes tables are necessary (although admittedly rarely) if you want to present tabular data like in excel but on a webpage. This isn't needed very often and I have never used tables as div are so much more useful with the use of CSS as well; they are what should be used as a standard these days.
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  5. #4
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Using tables to represent tabular data is just fine. In fact what you just said is the metaphor I most often use: if it would naturally work in Excel, then it's probably tabular data and HTML tables are the correct thing. Otherwise, they're not.
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  6. #5
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    Thanks everyone for clarifying what to use when.

  7. #6
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    That's right, table is for tabular data only. But that was way way back, now you could almost do anything using DIV including displaying tabular data...

  8. #7
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    Tables are used for data. Div's are used for layouts. Plus it's much easier for google to navigate your site if you use divs and SEO goes much smoother.

  9. #8
    Senior Member filburt1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackrhino
    Tables are used for data. Div's are used for layouts. Plus it's much easier for google to navigate your site if you use divs and SEO goes much smoother.
    Tables are used for data, but divs are not used for layout. A <div> tag means a division, or a logical group of content on a page. No tag in XHTML should be used for its layout behavior. The entire point of semantic HTML is not to use divs but to use the right tag to describe the data. 90% of the time it won't be a div, but a p, ul, ol, etc.
    filburt1, Web Design Forums.net founder
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  10. #9
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    Yes you will use those tags as well, however you still need div's within most layouts.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Dorky's Avatar
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    it didnt think it was an either or situation. i have seen the video put out by google on seo, and they said some very dif thing then any of what i see i this thread.

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