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Re: Use of <summary> with tables


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Dec 2, 2015 1:53PM

You mean the summary attribute, not a summary tag, correct?
<table summary="this table has x columns, y rows etc. etc.">
Even if no longer allowed under html5, it is allowed by older coding
standards and is pretty well supported by assistive technologies.
The problem I have with using the summary attribute is that if a table
is so complex that it needs a specific summary of how it is laid out,
you should rethink the table and see if it couldn't be better
constructed or split up into multiple tables -- better for everybody).
If it can't be done, sure, you can stil use the summary attribute to
describe it to a screen reader user.
You could also use it to give the table an accessible name (though
<caption> tag is preferred, because it makes the table name visible to

On 12/2/15, Alan Zaitchik < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I am somewhat confused. I originally thought that since <summary> is
> obsoleted in HTML5 I should use an alternative, e.g. any of those discussed
> at http://www.w3.org/WAI/tutorials/tables/caption-summary/. But then I saw a
> summary of tests reported at http://www.davidmacd.com/test/details.html and
> it leads me to think that <summary> is still better than the alternatives as
> far as screen reader users are concerned. (In our application I am concerned
> with off-screen tables accessed only by screen readers.)
> Any advice?
> A
> > > > >

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