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 syntax

<length> <length>?


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.
Initial value 0
Applies to table and inline-table elements
Inherited yes
Media visual
Computed value two absolute lengths
Animation type discrete
Canonical order the unique non-ambiguous order defined by the formal grammar

Browser compatibilityUpdate compatibility data on GitHub

Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1 12 1 8 4 1
Android webview Chrome for Android Edge Mobile Firefox for Android Opera for Android iOS Safari Samsung Internet
Basic support ? ? Yes 4 ? ? ?

See also

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