jnesselr jnesselr - 3 months ago 11
HTML Question

How to make a table column be a minimum width

Here is the template data file: https://github.com/Hoektronics/BotQueue/blob/master/views/bot/dashboard_list.ejs

I'm trying to make 8 of the 10 columns of a table to only take up exactly the minimum width that they need to, based on the text, respecting the padding and column headers.

In the example image, I want all but the 4th and 9th columns to take up the minimum width. Technically, there are 9 column headers, and the last one has a colspan of 2. The last header is a span3. I'd like the percentage column to take up the least width that is needed, and let the progress bar or the pass/view/fail buttons take up the rest.

Column 4 is set up to replace overflowed text with an ellipsis.

Example image:
example image

Answer

There is a trick that involves setting some cells to a very small width, and then applying a white-space: nowrap property:

HTML code

<table>
    <tr>
        <td class="min">id</td>
        <td class="min">tiny</td>
        <td>Fills space</td>
        <td>Fills space</td>
        <td class="min">123</td>
        <td class="min">small</td>
        <td>Fills space, wider</td>
        <td>Fills space</td>
        <td class="min">thin</td>
    </tr>
</table>

CSS code

td {
    width: auto;
}

td.min {
    width: 1%;
    white-space: nowrap;
}

As you can also see in the following fiddle, nowrap forces the table cell to prevent any line-breaks, and thus align its width to the smallest possible.

http://jsfiddle.net/5pm33a5x/1/


UPDATE:

To automatically collapse a longer column into ellipses, the text-overflow: ellipsis is what you are likely looking for:

td.cell-collapse {
    text-align: left;
    max-width: 200px;
    overflow: hidden;
    text-overflow: ellipsis;
}

Live demo

This also requires overflow set to hidden, as well as a width or max-width with a fixed value. Add the cell-collapse class to cells whose width you would like to limit.


Previous Javascript-base solution removed, since the pure CSS-based approach now works consistently across all modern browsers. The original code is still available at the linked JSfiddle, commented out.