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Cellpadding vs. Cellspacing — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Published on January 31, 2024
Cellpadding is the space within a table cell between its content and its borders, while cellspacing is the space between individual cells in a table.
Cellpadding vs. Cellspacing — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Cellpadding and Cellspacing


Key Differences

Cellpadding defines the space between the content of a cell and its border in a table, providing a buffer for the content. Cellspacing, in contrast, is the space between the cells themselves, determining how separated each cell is from its neighbors.
Cellpadding enhances the readability of data within a table by creating space inside the cell boundaries. Cellspacing, however, affects the overall layout of the table by adjusting the distance between different cells.
In terms of visual impact, cellpadding makes the content within a cell more prominent by adding space around it. Cellspacing focuses on the structure of the entire table, influencing how clustered or spread out the cells appear.
Adjusting cellpadding can make a table look more compact or spacious internally, without affecting the table's overall dimensions. Adjusting cellspacing changes the table's external dimensions by altering the gaps between cells.
Both cellpadding and cellspacing are important for web design and user interface, as they control the appearance and readability of tables. Cellpadding directly affects the content within cells, while cellspacing impacts the table's grid-like structure.

Comparison Chart

Location of Space

Inside a cell, around the content
Between adjacent cells


Enhances content readability
Influences table layout

Effect on Table Layout

Affects internal cell space
Affects space between cells

Visual Impact

Makes cell content prominent
Defines the structure of the table

Adjustments Impact

Changes internal cell dimensions
Alters overall table dimensions

Compare with Definitions


Inner margin of a table cell.
Cellpadding enhanced the content's visibility.


Gap separating adjacent cells.
Adjusting the cellspacing changed the table's appearance.


Space around content within a cell.
To avoid clutter, the cellpadding was increased.


Outer margin around table cells.
To enhance separation, cellspacing was expanded.


Internal buffer within a table cell.
Cellpadding was adjusted for aesthetic appeal.


External spacing in a table grid.
Increased cellspacing made the table less crowded.


Padding inside a cell's boundary.
The table's design required more cellpadding.


Space between individual table cells.
Cellspacing was reduced to compact the table layout.


Space between cell content and its border.
Increasing the cellpadding made the table more readable.


Distance between cell borders.
Cellspacing was fine-tuned for clarity.

Common Curiosities

Does cellspacing impact the external dimensions of a table?

Yes, it changes the table's dimensions by altering gaps between cells.

How does cellspacing affect a table's layout?

Cellspacing determines the space between adjacent cells, affecting the table's overall layout.

Can cellpadding improve table readability?

Yes, by creating more space inside cells, it makes content more readable.

Is cellpadding important for web design?

Absolutely, as it directly affects how table content is presented and perceived.

Can increasing cellpadding make a table look more spacious internally?

Yes, it adds space inside cells, giving a more spacious appearance.

How does cellspacing influence a table's appearance?

By adjusting the spacing between cells, it can make a table look more clustered or spread out.

What's the main difference between cellpadding and cellspacing?

Cellpadding is space inside a cell, while cellspacing is space between cells.

What does cellpadding control in a table?

Cellpadding controls the space within a cell between its content and borders.

Is cellpadding adjustable in HTML tables?

Yes, you can adjust cellpadding in HTML to alter the internal cell space.

Is cellspacing relevant for responsive web design?

Yes, as it affects how tables adapt to different screen sizes.

Does altering cellspacing require HTML knowledge?

Yes, knowledge of HTML is needed to correctly adjust the cellspacing in tables.

Can cellpadding affect a table's external size?

No, it only affects the space inside the cells, not the table's overall size.

What happens if cellpadding is set to zero?

The content will touch the cell borders, possibly impacting readability.

Can cellspacing be eliminated completely?

Yes, setting cellspacing to zero will make the cells touch each other.

Are there CSS alternatives to control cellpadding and cellspacing?

Yes, CSS properties like 'padding' and 'border-spacing' can be used as alternatives.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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