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A related method (usable some day in the near future) is the min-width: rule for an element, set with CSS. Browser support is spotty today, but eventually it *should* ensure that small windows don't completely collapse a layout.
Coupled with max-width: you can declare a liquid layout that doesn't get too wide or too narrow.
Don't worry about setting the width parameter, just put the parameter 'nowrap' in the TD section.
Example code portion:
<td align="right" nowrap valign="middle">
In IE, Opera and Pheonix/Mozilla that allows the window to be resized only up to the point where the TD's contents would be wrapped. At which time the horizontal scrollbar appears instead.