Table Border Without CSS: Designing Tables with Pure HTML

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HTML tables are a reliable and practical way to present data on a webpage. However, CSS is traditionally used to style HTML tables. There are situations where using CSS might not be ideal or possible. This article explores clever border techniques and examples to achieve stylish HTML table borders without CSS.

Following are the different border techniques to achieve stylish HTML tables without CSS:

  • The Traditional Approach: CSS Styling for HTML Tables
  • The Border Attribute: A Blast from the Past
  • ASCII Art Borders: Embrace Creativity
  • Unicode Box Drawing Characters
  • Unicode Box Drawing Characters
  • Embracing Divs: An Unconventional Approach
  • Minimalist Borders: A Subtle Touch
  • Using Inline SVG for Scalable Borders
  • Leveraging JavaScript Libraries

Embracing these alternatives encourages developers to think creatively and elevate their table designs, showcasing the true potential of HTML and the artistry behind web design. In this article, let us dig deeper into this topic.

Table Gorder Without CSS:

These are Different Techniques/Approaches.

The Traditional Approach: CSS Styling for HTML Tables

CSS allows developers to customize the table’s borders, background colors, HTML table border color, font styles, and more. It’s a flexible and robust solution, but in some cases, using CSS might not be an option due to specific constraints or compatibility issues, necessitating solutions involving Changing CSS With JavaScript.

Read also: Non-Breaking Hyphen In HTML: A Quick And Easy Guide

The Border Attribute: A Blast from the Past

The HTML table border without CSS attribute is not recommended for modern web development. However, it’s worth mentioning for its historical significance. This attribute was widely used in the early days of the web to add tables and HTML cell borders. However, it has been deprecated in favor of using CSS for presentational purposes.


<table border="1"> ... </table>

ASCII Art Borders: Embrace Creativity

ASCII art is a fascinating way to add HTML table borders to your tables without using CSS or HTML table without borders. By leveraging ASCII characters, you can create unique and eye-catching border designs. While this method requires manual effort, it allows you to unleash creativity and tailor borders to suit your content.

If creating complex borders manually seems daunting, several online tools and libraries can generate ASCII borders. Simply input your table data; these tools will generate the corresponding HTML with ASCII borders. It’s a convenient way to add style to the HTML table border without CSS.




│ Item1 │ Item2 │


│ Item3 │ Item4 │



Unicode Box Drawing Characters


Unicode offers a vast array of box drawing characters that can be used to craft intricate and visually appealing borders for HTML tables. These characters include single and double lines in various styles, corners, and intersections, making it possible to create elaborate designs.

Embracing Divs: An Unconventional Approach

In specific scenarios where tabular data is unnecessary, you can achieve table-like structures using <div> elements instead of traditional HTML tables. By appropriately styling these <div> elements, you can create visually appealing designs for HTML table borders without CSS.

Minimalist Borders: A Subtle Touch

Sometimes, less is more. Instead of intricate designs, you might prefer subtle borders that enhance readability without overwhelming the content. Utilizing simple characters like hyphens and vertical bars can achieve this minimalistic effect.

Using Inline SVG for Scalable Borders

Inline SVG offers another creative method for adding borders to HTML table borders without CSS. You can craft scalable and resolution-independent borders by defining SVG shapes and strokes.


<svg width="200" height="100">

<rect width="100%" height="100%" style="fill: none; stroke: black; stroke-width: 2px;"/>


Leveraging JavaScript Libraries

For dynamic tables or complex designs, you can leverage JavaScript libraries that specialize in generating border styles for HTML tables. These libraries can offer advanced customization options and save time by automating the process.


Example: Utilizing a JavaScript library to generate and apply border styles to HTML tables automatically.

Pros and Cons

Here are some of the Pros and Cons of using a Stylish HTML table border without CSS techniques:

Pros Cons
Improved CompatibilityLimited Control
Creative FlexibilityConsistency Across Browsers
No External DependenciesMaintenance Complexity
ScalabilityLimited Interaction (for some techniques)
Simplicity and EaseLearning Curve

Using stylish HTML table borders without CSS border techniques offers benefits such as improved compatibility with older browsers, no external dependencies, creative freedom, simplicity, and scalability.

pros and cons

However, it comes with challenges such as limited control over styling, maintenance complexity, a potential learning curve for new techniques, inconsistent appearance across browsers, and limitations in interactive capabilities for specific techniques.

The decision to use alternative border techniques should consider the specific project requirements and the balance between creative freedom and practicality.


Why would someone want to style HTML tables without CSS?

There are several reasons why someone might prefer styling HTML tables without CSS. For instance, certain projects may impose restrictions on using CSS, or there might be a need to ensure compatibility with older web browsers that lack CSS support.

What are some alternative methods for styling HTML tables without CSS?

There are various alternative methods available for styling HTML tables without CSS. Some of these methods include: Using the HTML border attribute Employing ASCII art Leveraging Unicode box drawing characters Utilizing inline SVG Leveraging JavaScript libraries

What are the advantages of using ASCII art to style HTML tables?

ASCII art offers several benefits when it comes to styling HTML tables. Notably, it allows the addition of borders without relying on CSS, and its creative potential enables the creation of unique and visually appealing table designs.

What are the benefits of using Unicode box drawing characters to style HTML tables?

Opting for Unicode box drawing characters brings additional advantages to table styling. These characters offer a more comprehensive range of border styles than ASCII art, enabling the design of more complex and intricate table layouts.

What are the benefits of using inline SVG to style HTML tables?

Inline SVG provides numerous benefits for styling HTML tables without CSS. Using inline SVG, you can create scalable and resolution-independent borders, ensuring consistent display across various devices and screen sizes. Moreover, the flexibility of the SVG format allows for the implementation of diverse and customizable border styles.


Styling HTML tables without CSS might seem challenging, but with the techniques and examples explored in this article, you can achieve stylish and visually appealing tables in various creative ways. Whether you embrace ASCII art, Unicode characters, <div> structures, or SVGs, there’s no shortage of alternatives to enhance your tables and captivate your audience without relying on traditional CSS styling.

In conclusion, opting to style HTML tables without relying on CSS introduces a world of creative opportunities and practical solutions for web developers. While CSS has traditionally been the standard for table styling, there are compelling reasons to explore alternative methods. The techniques discussed in this article offer valuable alternatives, whether due to project limitations, compatibility concerns with older browsers, or a desire for unique and captivating designs.

From utilizing the HTML border attribute and embracing the artistic freedom of ASCII art to leveraging the versatility of Unicode box drawing characters, each approach brings its benefits and distinctive touch to table styling. Furthermore, inline SVG provides an excellent option for crafting scalable and resolution-independent borders, ensuring seamless adaptability across diverse devices.

By understanding and embracing these diverse methods, developers can achieve stylish and visually appealing HTML tables that leave a lasting impact on their audience. The choice of which method to employ will ultimately depend on the specific requirements of each project and the desired visual outcome.

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