<tbody>: What role does the <tbody> element play in structuring the body of a table in DITA content?

The <tbody> element in DITA tables is essential for structuring and organizing the body of a table. It plays a central role in containing the actual data rows of the table, separating them from the header (<thead>) and footer (<tfoot>) sections, if present. The primary purpose of <tbody> is to group and define the content that belongs to the core data of the table, making it clear and structured for readers.

Structuring the Table Body

The <tbody> element is used to group one or more <row> elements, which, in turn, contain the individual data cells represented by <entry> elements. Each <row> typically corresponds to a single data record or row of information in the table. By using <tbody>, you can logically organize and separate different sections of data within the table body, especially when dealing with complex tables that have multiple data segments.


Here’s an example of how the <tbody> element is used to structure the body of a DITA table:

<table id="sample_table">
      <entry>Product Name</strong></entry>
      <entry>Product A</entry>
      <entry>Product B</entry>
      <entry>Home & Garden</entry>
    <!-- Additional data rows -->

In this example, the <tbody> element contains <row> elements, each representing a data record in the table. This separation helps maintain clarity and organization in the table’s body, making it easier for readers to interpret the data.