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Re: JAWS cannot handle complex table


From: Jonathan Avila
Date: Mar 28, 2018 11:39AM

> I'm not saying I agree with how JAWS is interpreting it, but I can understand why they would do it.

Glenn, I was thinking the same exact thing. JAWS treats the span rows as only applicable to the first row they appear in-- this is how JAWS works. Maybe it should work differently? Maybe not? But it's likely not a problem with the table and depending on who you talk to it may or may not be a bug.


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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of glen walker
Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 12:30 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] JAWS cannot handle complex table

I'm not sure there's really a problem. I duplicated your layout with an html table, assuming I understand the layout correctly. I'm attaching an html file, although I'm not sure if attachments come through on the archives. The table should be as you described, but I also have a button before and after the table because I like to tab into my test page to a focusable object first, and then use T to navigate to the table, strictly for testing purposes.

NVDA allows you to navigate to all cells in the table but JAWS (2018) does not. There is an argument that JAWS is doing the right thing. Row 2 contains data for all four columns, with the last two cells spanning multiple rows. Row 3 only contains two data cells, in the first two columns. The last two data cells aren't really there because the cells belong to row 2. So you hit the right edge of the table after the second data cell.

I'm not saying I agree with how JAWS is interpreting it, but I can understand why they would do it.

NVDA isn't completely great either. While NVDA will let me navigate across row 3 and access the last two data cells as if they were on row 3, if I try to navigate back to the left, I end up in row 2. So NVDA also interprets the spanned rows as belonging to row 2.

I also tried the table with VoiceOver and it behaves like JAWS. As I swipe right through the table, I can navigate across all of row 2. The VO focus then moves to row 3 and only lets me access the first two cells and then the focus moves to row 4. So like JAWS, VoiceOver thinks the spanned cells belong to row 2 and that there are only two data cells in row 3. The nice thing about VO is that it told me the last two cells in row 2 spanned four rows. I don't know if JAWS or NVDA tell you that. I didn't try tracking that down.

The end result is that it sounds like your PDF table is marked up correctly because you're hearing the same behavior as an html table.