Use a simple table structure, and specify column header information

Screen readers keep track of their location in a table by counting table cells. If a table is nested within another table or if a cell is merged or split, the screen reader loses count and can’t provide helpful information about the table after that point. Blank cells in a table could also mislead someone using a screen reader into thinking that there is nothing more in the table.

Screen readers also use header information to identify rows and columns.

In Word:

  1. Position the cursor anywhere in a table.
  2. On the Table Tools Design tab, in the Table Style Options group, select the Header Row check box.
  3. Insert column headings.

  Header Row checkbox in Word

In Excel:

Transform data into a table

  1. Enter the data that will become part of the table.
  2. Select any cell within the data, and then select Insert > Table.
  3. Make sure the highlighted cells or range reference is correct.
  4. Make sure the My table has headers check box is selected, and select OK.

Screenshot of the Create Table dialog box showing the cell range reference for the table being created.

Add a descriptive table name

  1. Select anywhere in the table.
  2. Under Design > Table Name, replace the generic name with a more meaningful one.

Apply an accessible design

  1. Select anywhere in the table, and then go to Design.
  2. Select the design features you want, for example, Header RowBanded Rows, and First Column.
  3. To show all available table styles, select More.
  4. From the Medium styles, select a style with strong contrasting colors.

Screenshot of the first six table styles and the More button to see all the table styles.

Increase the font size

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Go to Home > Font Size, and select a font size of 12 points or larger.

Increase space between rows

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Select Home > Format > Row Height.
  3. Increase the row height to, for example, 30 or 40, and then select OK.

Adjust the column width to fit the text

  1. Select the entire table.
  2. Select Home > Format > AutoFit Column Width.
    The width of the selected columns adjusts to fit the longest text in each column.

Left-align text

  1. Select the cells, columns, or rows that you want to align.
  2. Select Home > Left Align left icon .


Article ID: 138538
Wed 3/16/22 8:53 AM
Wed 3/16/22 8:53 AM