To start, every table needs a set of directions. Width, cellpadding, cellspacing, and border are all instructions. The width tell the table how wide to be. The cellpadding tells the table how much space to put between the edge or border of the table. The cellspacing tells the table how far apart two sections of a table should be. And, last but not least, the border tells the table how wide you want the borders to be. Of course there are many other instructions that can be put in but let's just stick with those for now.
After the table has that set of instructions you must start its first row and that is where the "tr" comes in. "tr" literally stands for "table row" so let's think that we are going to start our first table row with this tag.
Now, you are going to put some type of data into your table, right? Well, you have to tell the table this as well and that is where the "td" comes in. "td" literally stands for "table data" so put your data inside this tag.
As the "td" is the place where you would afterwards put data it is ALSO the place where you can further instruct the table. Within the "td" tag you may also put in "rowspan" which is where you tell the "td" area how many rows high or long you would like it to be. Or, maybe you would like to put "colspan" (column span) instead where you tell the table how many columns wide you would like this section to be. --Note, you will have to have more than one section for either "rowspan" or "colspan" to make a difference.
There are also other additonal instructions you can put in the "td" tag but let's just stick with those for now.
The tr's and td's of tables are the most difficult part to keep right and that is why it is VERY important to keep your coding very well organized. The coding on this page is a very good example of good organization. And not only is it good organization but if one were to look at it and then think of what "tr" and "td' stand for it might just help to make sense. By now, I am sure you are asking, "How does that help make sense?!" Well, hold on and I'll explain.
(The 2nd Coding Here is used for this explanation.)
As explained earlier "tr" means "table row" and "td" means "table data."
Here, the tr gets to decide what stays on what rows and the td basically gets pushed around. If you are to end a td and start a new one without telling the table to start a new row then that td is going to be right next to the first one.
I do not know if what I said above will help you or not but it helped me. Otherwise, I've known people to remember it as the following: the combination 'tr' 'td' goes down and the 'td' alone goes over.
Well, thanks guys for reading this and I really hope this has helped someone out there. Oh well, if it doesn't I guess I gave my fingers a little work-out. :D