CSS Equivalent of Rowspan and Colspan

[FONT=“Verdana”]Hi everyone,

I am trying to get away from using tables to layout my pages. Unfortunately, it seems CSS (which was created for presentation, right?) cannot do something that a simple HTML table can do.

I have searched high and low for a CSS equivalent but, as I’m sure you know, there is no CSS equivalent.

I keep reading that colspan and rowspan are “structural elements”. I don’t agree with this but I don’t want to get into that debate. The point is that I need the formatting (i.e., the “presentation”) afforded by colspan and rowspan and CSS (which is supposed to be used for presentation) does not seem to be able to do it.

Someone will probably want to know, “Well what exactly do you need colspan/rowspan for?”. Okay, fair enough: I have a complicated FORM element whose input elements (radio buttons, textboxes, etc.) need to be layed out in a visually appealing way. Some input fields are longer than others but they all need to have their edges line up and they need to expand/contract depending on the size of the browser window.

I realize CSS really shines when it comes to styling but when it comes to layout it seems to be lacking.

I did find one article where the author gave an example of simulating rowspan but the CSS was rather convoluted (to me). I hate to feel this way but it doesn’t seem like CSS is as good as those clunky TABLEs when it comes to layout. I was hoping someone might have a simple patterns I could follow that would give me the same effect as rowspan/colspan.

Thanks very much.
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There are probably some not-too-difficult ways to do this with CSS. But at this stage I would suggest posting an image of what layout you want, because the methods used would depend a lot on where you want things to sit.

CSS does have its own table layout properties, but the downside is that versions 7 and below of the Evil One don’t support it.

PS: sometimes the hassle involved in creating a non-table layout (especially for a section of a page) just isn’t worth the trouble. If you need to go for a table with this, well, so be it. Or you could rethink the layout a bit. Sometimes these visual “graphic designer” demands are not very practical on the web.