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Re: Naming and labeling tables in Word


From: Jonathan Avila
Date: May 28, 2014 11:06AM

> 1. Is there any other screen reader that does make of use of these
semantic hooks Word allows?

You need to make sure the Defined Bookmarked Tables override verbosity
setting in JAWS is set to "off" for the bookmarks to be announced.


-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Bourne, Sarah
Sent: Wednesday, May 28, 2014 12:39 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] Naming and labeling tables in Word

We are in the process of designing an introductory course for creating
accessible Word documents, based primarily on the great training modules
created by the State of Texas
(http://gov.texas.gov/disabilities/accessibledocs) and cross-checking with
the advice from Microsoft and Freedom Scientific. We have run into two
situations where the Best Practice advice does not actually seem to do
anything for JAWS users: giving a table a name, and identifying headers.
Testing was done with Word 2010 and JAWS 15, and verified by a few of our
most technically proficient JAWS users.

Table naming: The are two methods for assigning a name to a table in
JAWS. One is using a Word caption, which adds a caption before the table.
The other ("required" by Word's accessibility checker) is to add
alternative text. However, neither method seems to actually be used by
JAWS. The name isn't read when you enter the table, and it is not used
when you call up a list of tables. The list of tables just gives the
content of the first row and the table dimensions (e.g., 3 x 3). I have
tried using ALT text title, ALT text description, Caption, and every
combination of them, but there is no difference in the Table List. If you
use captions, you can use Word's feature to create a clickable Table of
Figures (tables in this case), but there doesn't seem to be a way of
viewing them without actually inserting them.

Table headers: Using Word table properties, you can identify a row as
column headers. Word table styles also allow you to also identify row
headers. However, JAWS does not make use of either. You can only get it to
read headers with the cell contents if you use the proprietary workaround
of using Word Bookmarks that start with "Title", "ColumnTitle", or
"RowTitle", or if you use JAWS verbosity settings to identify the header
rows and/or columns yourself. That method works whether you have used the
Word features to identify headers or not, by the way.

So that makes me wonder why we are asking people to do these extra steps
at all.
1. Is there any other screen reader that does make of use of these
semantic hooks Word allows?
2. Is it only so it will be tagged properly when you "save as" PDF?
3. Is there some setting we are missing in JAWS?
4. Are aliens from space are messing with our minds and it works for
everybody else?

Freedom Scientific's help desk was no help. Any insight or experience you
can share would be appreciated.

Sarah E. Bourne
Director of Assistive Technology
Information Technology Division
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Pl. rm 1601 Boston MA 02108

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