Layers With Simple HTML: Tips for Tables
TD bgcolor="..." and background="..."
Now that we've got our placement and width set, we can get down to the content. All of the lessons we learned about page background colors and images can be applied to table cell backgrounds.
Any time a cell's background image is being set, it's a good idea to set the background color for that cell as well. Again, what will happen is that the color will be displayed before the background image is loaded and comes into view.
Next you can add a background to the cell. Here's two techniques that might be of interest: 'semi-transparent' backgrounds and expanding graphics.
Because GIFs can be transparent, they can be any shape we want them to be. However the transparency can only be completely on or completely off for each pixel. In order to get a cell background that 'screens' or provides a semi-transparent layer to the layer just below, we can create a grid of alternating transparent and non-transparent pixels. This sort of screen can be seen here: Semi-Transparent Backgrounds.
Take a look at these two graphics:
This is a single set of images that can expand and contract to take up a flexible amount of space on a page. Here's how the table looks with the various borders turned on.
and here's a description of each image:
Now that we've discussed some of the things we can do with backgrounds and tables, let's discuss some of the things we can't do.