HTML <thead> Tag

The <thead> tag defines the header of an HTML table. The tag is used along with <tbody> and <tfoot> tags, that specify the body and footer of the table, respectively.

The <thead> tag must be used as a child of the <table> element, after the <caption>, <colgroup> elements and before the <tfoot>, <tbody>, and <tr> elements. (You can use only one <thead> tag inside <table>).

Note, that the <tfoot> tag must be placed before <tbody>, so that the browser can render the table footer correctly.

The <thead> must contain at least one <tr> element.
The <thead>, <tbody>, and <tfoot> elements do not affect the table layout by default. Use CSS properties to customize the look of the table.


The <thead> tag comes in pairs. The content is written between the opening (<thead>) and closing (</thead>) tags.

      <td> ... </td>
  <tfoot> ... </tfoot>
  <tbody> ... </tbody>

Example of the HTML <thead> tag:

<!DOCTYPE html>
    <title>Title of the document</title>
      table {
        width: 80%;
        margin: 30px auto;
        border-collapse: collapse;
      thead {
        background-color: #1c87c9;
        color: #ffffff;
      td {
        padding: 10px;
        border: 1px solid #666666;


thead example


Attribute Values Description
align right
Specifies the alignment of the content inside a <thead> element.
Not supported in HTML5
bgcolor bgcolor Sets the background color of the rows inside a <thead> element.
Not supported in HTML5
char character Specifies the alignment of the content inside a <thead> element to a character. It is used only when the attribute is align="char".
Not supported in HTML5.
charoff number Specifies the number of characters the content inside the <thead> element will be aligned from the character specified by the char attribute. It is used only when the attribute is align="char".
Not supported in HTML5.
valign top
Specifies a vertical alignment of the content inside a <tbody> element.
Not supported in HTML5.

The <thead> tag supports the Global Attributes and the Event Attributes.

How to style <thead> tag?

Common properties to alter the visual weight/emphasis/size of text in <thead> tag:

  • CSS font-style property sets the style of the font. normal | italic | oblique | initial | inherit.
  • CSS font-family property specifies a prioritized list of one or more font family names and/or generic family names for the selected element.
  • CSS font-size property sets the size of the font.
  • CSS font-weight property defines whether the font should be bold or thick.
  • CSS text-transform property controls text case and capitalization.
  • CSS text-decoration property specifies the decoration added to text, and is a shorthand property for text-decoration-line, text-decoration-color, text-decoration-style.

Coloring text in <thead> tag:

  • CSS color property describes the color of the text content and text decorations.
  • CSS background-color property sets the background color of an element.

Text layout styles for <thead> tag:

  • CSS text-indent property specifies the indentation of the first line in a text block.
  • CSS text-overflow property specifies how overflowed content that is not displayed should be signalled to the user.
  • CSS white-space property specifies how white-space inside an element is handled.
  • CSS word-break property specifies where the lines should be broken.

Other properties worth looking at for <thead> tag:

Browser support

chrome edge firefox safari opera

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