The border-spacing CSS property sets the distance between the borders of adjacent <table> cells. This property applies only when border-collapse is separate.

The border-spacing value is also used along the outside edge of the table, where the distance between the table's border and the cells in the first/last column or row is the sum of the relevant (horizontal or vertical) border-spacing and the relevant (top, right, bottom, or left) padding on the table.

Note: The border-spacing property is equivalent to the deprecated cellspacing <table> attribute, except that it has an optional second value that can be used to set different horizontal and vertical spacing.


/* <length> */
border-spacing: 2px;

/* horizontal <length> | vertical <length> */
border-spacing: 1cm 2em;

/* Global values */
border-spacing: inherit;
border-spacing: initial;
border-spacing: unset;

The border-spacing property may be specified as either one or two values.

  • When one <length> value is specified, it defines both the horizontal and vertical spacings between cells.
  • When two <length> values are specified, the first value defines the horizontal spacing between cells (i.e., the space between cells in adjacent columns), and the second value defines the vertical spacing between cells (i.e., the space between cells in adjacent rows).


The size of the spacing as a fixed value.

Formal definition

Initial value0
Applies totable and inline-table elements
Computed valuetwo absolute lengths
Animation typediscrete

Formal syntax

<length> <length>?


Spacing and padding table cells

This example applies a spacing of .5em vertically and 1em horizontally between a table's cells. Note how, along its outside edges, the table's padding values are added to its border-spacing values.




table {
  border-spacing: 1em .5em;
  padding: 0 2em 1em 0;
  border: 1px solid orange;

td {
  width: 1.5em;
  height: 1.5em;
  background: #d2d2d2;
  text-align: center;
  vertical-align: middle;



Specification Status Comment
CSS Level 2 (Revision 1)
The definition of 'border-spacing' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
border-spacingChrome Full support 1Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 8Opera Full support 4Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support ≤37Chrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 14Safari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.0


Full support  
Full support

See also