Having accessible documents is an important resource for our campus community. If you begin each document with accessibility in mind, more users will be able to access and use the information in your document.
Data tables are often used to present information in a concise manner. Simple data tables refer to tables with one column header and/or one row header designated for the data. Formatting the header row and column allows assistive technology determine how the data is to be announced.
As most data tables rely on visual structure, if not properly formatted, such tables can be rendered useless to individuals who rely on assistive technology to understand the data provided. Use the following steps to improve the accessibility and usability of data tables in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
To open the tags panel select View from the main Menu, then choose Show/Hide, Navigation Panes, then Tags options. The Tags Panel will appear on the left side of the screen.
The Tags Panel contains a list of all the elements within the document in the order they will be announced to assistive technology. To expand and view the list of tags, select the Plus/Minus sign (Windows) or the arrow (Mac) to the left of an element name.
In the Tags Panel, select the table element (<table>) to expand the list of table rows (<TR>).
In the Tags Panel, select the plus sign/arrow to the left of the first Table Row (<TR>), a list of Table Columns (<TD>) should appear.
In the first Table Row, double click on each column (<TD>) to rename the element as a <TH>. Doing so tells computers the first cell in each column is a header. This formatting will also announce to assistive technology users each cell’s data and provide its relationship to the corresponding header as they navigate through the table.
The first column of the table may also be used as a header. If this is so, expand each of the remaining Table Rows (<TR>). In each table row, rename the first column (<TD>) as a table header (<TH>).