change last row cell style in css and javascript cross browser compatibility issues

There are various approaches to achieve this functionality with equally different levels of compatibility across browsers. Here are some of the ways.

Javascript Approach (most compatible. you may recognize this code from another one of my articles.):

function ChangeTableCellStyle(tableid,cellnumber,mystyle) {
if (document.getElementById)
var selectedElement = document.getElementById(tableid);
selectedElement.className = style;
//change style on end cell by drilling into table. this will eventually become completely replaced by css3
if (selectedElement.tagName.toLowerCase()=="table")
var tbody = selectedElement.lastChild;
if (tbody!=null)
if (tr.nodeType!=1) {
tr[cellnumber].className+= ' ' + mystyle;
} } } } }

HTML col tags and hardcoded inline style overrides (easy, but messy IMO. also definitely not a good approach for styling lots of similar looking pages)

<col style="background-color: #6374AB; color: #ffffff" />
<col span="2" style="background-color: #07B133; color: #ffffff;" />

<td style="background-color: #000000">First TD of first TR</td>
[... etc ...]
<tr style="background-color: #6374AB;"> // second TR

CSS3 last child (super clean and awesome but unfortunately not well supported by browsers)

p:last-child {
  ⋮ declarations

jQuery Approach (this also has good compatibility and much cleaner than your own JS function, but requires an external jquery library reference which may be overkill unless you’re already using it):

$(document).ready(function() {
    $('table.class tr:last-child').addClass('ClassName'); //can also speciy firstchild etc

Some of the snippets above are quoted snippets directly from references below. See the reference links for more information on a specific approach.

As the above examples have illustrated there are many ways to achieve what you need each varying depending on your implementation. Hope this article helped! Enjoy.

CSS fixed table approach
HTML col tags approach,
css3 approach,
jQuery approach,


About Ronnie Diaz

Ronnie Diaz is a software engineer and tech consultant. Ronnie started his career in front-end and back-end development for companies in ecommerce, service industries and remote education. This work transitioned from traditional desktop client-server applications through early cloud development. Software included human resource management and service technician workflows, online retail e-commerce and electronic ordering and fulfillment, IVR customer relational systems, and video streaming remote learning SCORM web applications. Hands on server experience and software performance optimization led to creation of a startup business focused on collocated data center services and continued experience with video streaming hardware and software. This led to a career in Amazon Prime Video where Ronnie is currently employed, building software and systems which stream live sports and events for millions of viewers around the world.

Posted on November 9, 2012, in Programming & Development and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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