Table elements

DITA topics support two types of tables. One is the most common table format used in industry, the <CALS table> (or more recently known also as the Oasis Table Exchange Model). The CALS table supports the spanning of multiple rows or columns for special layout or organizational needs, and provides a wide variety of controls over the display properties of the data and even the table structure itself.

The other table structure in DITA is called <simpletable>. As the name implies, it is structurally less sophisticated than the CALS table, and can be used as a very simple, regular table for which close control of formatting is not as important. However, the main advantage of simpletable is for describing lists of data with regular headings, such as telephone directory listings, display adapter configuration data, or API properties.