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The PreTeXt Guide

Subsection 4.18.5 Table Columns

Prior to all of the <row> within a <tabular>, there may be a sequence of empty <col/> elements. Having these is optional, but once there is one, then there needs to be as many as the number of columns of the table. These elements do not have any content that appears in the table, but are used to hold attributes that influence the borders or alignment of the cells within a column. These are described below.
So it should now be clear that, after much consideration, that we have chosen a “row first” approach to describing a table.
To encourage good style, we only support row headers as the first column. So this is a property of the entire <tabular>. So the attribute @row-headers on <tabular> can have values no and yes, with the former as default. Note that “major” and “minor” row headers should be accomplished in the first column by using indentation for the minor headers. Please make a feature request if you would find this useful.