DocBook Publishers: The Definitive Guide  (Version 1.2.1 for DocBook 5.1)


colspec — Specifications for a column in a table.


colspec ::=

  • empty


Common attributes and common linking attributes.

Additional attributes:

  • align (enumeration)
    • “center”
    • “char”
    • “justify”
    • “left”
    • “right”
  • char
  • charoff (decimal)
  • colname
  • colnum (positiveInteger)
  • colsep (enumeration)
    • “0”
    • “1”
  • colwidth
  • rowheader (enumeration)
    • “firstcol”
    • “headers”
    • “norowheader”
  • rowsep (enumeration)
    • “0”
    • “1”


The attributes of this empty element specify the presentation characteristics of entries in a column of a table.

Each colspec refers to a single column. Columns are numbered sequentially from left to right in the table. If the colnum attribute is not specified, the colspec is for the next column after the preceding colspec or column 1 if it is the first colspec.

Processing expectations

Suppressed. This element is expected to obey the semantics of the CALS Table Model Document Type Definition [calsdtd].


Common attributes and common linking attributes.


Specifies the horizontal alignment of text in an entry.

Enumerated values:



Aligned on a particular character.


Left and right justified.


Left justified.


Right justified.


Specifies the alignment character when align is set to “char” .


Specifies the percentage of the column's total width that should appear to the left of the first occurance of the character identified in char when align is set to “char” .


Provides a name for a column specification.


The number of the column to which this specification applies. Must be greater than any preceding column number. Defaults to one more than the number of the preceding column, if there is one, or one.


Specifies the presence or absence of the column separator

Enumerated values:

No column separator rule.


Provide a column separator rule on the right


Specifies the width of the column.


Indicates whether or not the entries in the first column should be considered row headers

Enumerated values:

Indicates that entries in the first column of the table are functionally row headers (analogous to the way that a thead provides column headers).


Indicates that row headers are identified by use of the headers attribute on entries in the table.


Indicates that entries in the first column have no special significance with respect to column headers.


Specifies the presence or absence of the row separator

Enumerated values:

No row separator rule.


Provide a row separator rule below


These elements contain colspec: entrytbl, tfoot, tgroup, thead (db.cals.entrytbl.thead), thead (db.cals.thead).