Faking Min Width on a Desk Column | CSS-Methods


Web Development

The good ol’

tag is the most semantic HTML for showing tabular info. But I locate it pretty tricky to manage how the table is offered, significantly column widths in a dynamic atmosphere where you may well not know how much content is likely into each and every desk mobile. In some situations, just one column is tremendous large when other individuals are scrunched up. Other situations, we get equal widths, but at the expense of a column that consists of much more content and requires a lot more place.

But I uncovered a CSS tricks-y workaround that will help make items a minor easier. Which is what I want to display you in this submit.

The problem

Very first we want to fully grasp how structure is managed by the browser. We have the desk-layout residence in CSS to outline how a desk really should distribute the width for just about every table column. It requires one particular of two values:

Permit us begin with a table with out defining any widths on its columns. In other terms, we will let the browser choose how substantially width to give every single column by implementing desk-layout: car on it in CSS. As you will notice, the browser does its best with the algorithm it has to divide the entire out there width among every column.

If we swap out an vehicle table format with table-structure: set, then the browser will just divide the total accessible area by the whole variety of columns, then use that value as the width for each individual column:

But what if we want to regulate the widths of our columns? We have the

factor to assistance! It consists of personal

features we can use to specify the exact width we will need for every column. Let us see how that operates in with desk-structure: car:

I have inlined the kinds for the sake of illustration.

The browser is not respecting the inline widths considering the fact that they exceed the sum of out there desk house when additional up. As a result, the desk steals house from the columns so that all of the columns are visible. This is beautifully good default actions.

How does

perform with table-layout: fastened. Let us obtain out:

This does not appear great at all. We require the column with a bunch of articles in it to flex a minimal although retaining a mounted width for the relaxation of the columns. A mounted desk-layout price respects the width — but so a lot so that it eats up the place of the column that requires the most space… which is a no-go for us.

This could effortlessly be solved if only we could set a min-width on the column instead of a width. That way, the column would say, “I can give all of you some of my width until eventually we achieve this minimum amount value.“ Then the table would simply overflow its container and give the user a horizontal scroll to screen the rest of the table. But regrettably, min-width on desk columns are not revered by the


The answer

The remedy is to phony a min-width and we need to be a bit creative to do it.

We can insert an vacant

as the second column for our

in the HTML and utilize a colspan attribute on the to start with column so that the first column requires up the area for each columns:

Undertaking identify Amount of money Day Edit

Note that I have extra lessons in position of the inline models from the prior illustration. The very same concept still applies: we’re applying widths to just about every column.

The trick is that relationship involving the to start with

and the vacant second

. If we utilize a width to the to start with

(it’s 200px in the snippet earlier mentioned), then the 2nd column will be eaten up when the preset desk structure divides up the readily available place to distribute to the columns. But the width of the to start with column (200px) is revered and continues to be in location.

Voilà! We have a faux min-width established on a desk mobile. The first cell flexes as the offered room changes and the table overflows for horizontal scrolling just as we hoped it would.

(I included a tiny sticky positioning to the to start with column there.)


Let us not absolutely overlook about accessibility here. I ran the desk by way of NVDA on Windows and VoiceOver on macOS and discovered that all five columns are introduced, even if we’re only working with four of them. And when the initially column is in emphasis, it announces, “Column a single as a result of two”. Not correctly classy but also not likely to bring about anyone to get lost. I picture we could toss an aria-concealed attribute on the unused column, but also know ARIA isn’t a substitute for inadequate HTML.

I’ll confess, this feels a little, um, hacky. But it does get the job done! Permit me know if you have a distinctive method in the comments… or know of any confusions this “hack” could carry to our end users.

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