Here is a script I use to create columns. I wrote this my first month 
phping, so it may be ugly. (Hence it may not be up to my new standards... 
:) Not to mention, this was designed for creating menu button which sounds 
different than what you do.

I use it as follows:

display_columns( mysql query result, name of function that display's html 
row [, number of rows prefered])
       Since returned rows can vary, this function will try to force that 
number of rows. So you could end up with 15 million columns.
       $max_columns determines the maximum number of columns and the 
script adjusts as needed. Default is three.
       This will create the columns down then across.
NOTE: I included my html function called 'regular_menu'

Example use-
/*********************

$results = mysql_query(etc.);

display_columns($results,"regular_menu");



**********************/



function display_columns($menu_query_result,$display_menu,$max_rows_allowed 
= 6){

/********************
Variables for Menus
********************/

global $page;

$row_count = mysql_num_rows($menu_query_result);
$max_rows_allowed = $max_rows_allowed; # Number of allowed rows per column
$total_column_rows = $max_rows_allowed; # The default is 1 column X 
$max_rows_allowed

/*******************
Get $max_column and $max_rows and $width of entire Table
*******************/

while($row_count > $total_column_rows){
$total_column_rows += $max_rows_allowed;
}

$max_columns = ($total_column_rows/$max_rows_allowed);

### limit the number of columns to 3 max- (Makes it easier to print)
if($max_columns > 3){
$max_columns = 3;
}

### Clean up columns
while((((ceil($row_count/$max_columns))*$max_columns) - $row_count) > 
ceil($row_count/$max_columns)){
$max_columns--;
}

### Define $max_rows now that $max_columns is defined
$max_rows = ceil($row_count/$max_columns);
$width = $max_columns * 200;

/********************
Display this thing
********************/

$container_html = <<<EOQ

<!-- Start container_html - Container of the columns. -->

<TABLE cellspacing='0' border='0' align='center' width='$width'>
<TR>
EOQ
;

print "$container_html";


/*******************
Print Columns and Rows
*******************/

### Start Column ###
for($column_counter = 0; $column_counter < $max_columns; $column_counter++){

$print_html = <<<EOQ

<!-- New Column -->
<TD valign="top" width="200">
<TABLE border="0" cellpadding="3">
EOQ
;
print "$print_html";

### Start and Stop Rows ###
for($row_counter = 0; $row_counter < $max_rows; $row_counter++){

$ary = mysql_fetch_assoc($menu_query_result);

if($ary){
$display_menu($ary);
}
### End of Row Loop ###
}
$print_html = <<<EOQ

<!-- Close Column -->

</table>
</TD>
EOQ
;
print "$print_html";
}

$print_html = <<<EOQ

<!-- Close Container -->
</TR>
</table>
<br>

EOQ
;
print "$print_html";

}

function regular_menu($ary){
global $page;
extract($ary);

$print_html = <<<EOQ

<!-- Row -->
<tr bgcolor="#003366">
<td width="200">
<div align="center">
<a href='http://$page?menu=$m_id' class='links'>$m_artical $m_name
</a>
</div>
</td>
</tr>

EOQ
;
print "$print_html";


}



At 12:04 PM 12/17/2001 -0200, Rodrigo Peres wrote:
>Hi list,
>
>I've tried for many times, but couldn't make a table with 3 columns and n
>rows
>This is my code, someone please, can help in make it outputs a 3 column
>table??
>
>
>$sql = "SELECT
>categorias.Nome_Categoria,celebridades.CelebID,celebridades.Nome_Artistico,
>lcase(left(Nome_Artistico,1)) as letra FROM categorias LEFT JOIN
>celebridades ON categorias.CategoriaID=celebridades.Categoria  WHERE
>CategoriaID='1' ORDER BY Nome_Artistico";
>$query = new Query($conexao);
>$query->executa($sql);
>
>$ultletra = '';
>$row = '';
>while($resultado = $query->dados()) {
>     $curletra = $resultado['letra'];
>     if($curletra != $ultletra) {
>             $row .= "<tr>\n<td>\n<img src=\"img/letras/$curletra.gif\"
>width=\"24\" height=\"24\">\n</td>\n</tr>\n";
>     }
>     $row .= "<td><a
>href=\"interna.php?cat=$resultado[Nome_Categoria]&celebID=$resultado[CelebID
>]\">".$resultado['Nome_Artistico']."</a></td>\n";
>     $ultletra = $curletra;
>
>}
>
>Thank's in advance
>
>Rodrigo Peres
>--
>
>
>
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