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4.9.2 The caption element

Categories:
None.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
As the first element child of a table element.
Content model:
Flow content, but with no descendant table elements.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLTableCaptionElement : HTMLElement {};

The caption element represents the title of the table that is its parent, if it has a parent and that is a table element.

The caption element takes part in the table model.

When a table element is the only content in a figure element other than the figcaption, the caption element should be omitted in favor of the figcaption.

A caption can introduce context for a table, making it significantly easier to understand.

Consider, for instance, the following table:

1 2 3 4 5 6
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
6 7 8 9 10 11 12

In the abstract, this table is not clear. However, with a caption giving the table's number (for reference in the main prose) and explaining its use, it makes more sense:

<caption>
<p>Table 1.
<p>This table shows the total score obtained from rolling two
six-sided dice. The first row represents the value of the first die,
the first column the value of the second die. The total is given in
the cell that corresponds to the values of the two dice.
</caption>