W3 table problems

I am having a problem and I wonder how other folks are dealing with
the same problem.

It seems more and more web sites are using the html 3 TABLE tag to
format text that is not a table.  The problem is that they make the
first column of the tabel a list of the page contence and the second
column is the text of the page.  Is there an easy way to get it to
read the second column only?  (My guess is that there is but I just
haven't spent enough time trying to figure it out - life is crasy
lately so I would appreciate any help here.)