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Re: PDF with very complex headers


From: Moore,Michael (Accessibility) (HHSC)
Date: Nov 1, 2019 7:46AM

Hi Alan,

You wrote: "I am working on a PDF table with a rather complex set of column headers and row headers. (I cannot significantly alter the table structure.) For example, there are 3 rows of headers at the top, where the column headers in row 1 have a colpan of 2 or 3, and the column headers in row 2 have colspans of 2 or 1. Thus a hierarchy of categories and subcategories is generated as a set of column headers for all the data cells in the table.
There are also row headers in columns 1 and 2 of the table, where the column
1 row headers often have a rowspan of 3 or 4 since they "apply to"
several rows.
Quite a mess of merged cells that reflects a complicated data structure."

I agree that keeping tables simple is the best approach but also know that most of us operate in an advisory capacity. With that in mind We created on how to mark up the cell tag properties to make the spans work. Usually you can't do this with the table editor. The zipped version linked below includes before and after files that were using in the tutorial. We have tested this method with JAWS 2019 and Adobe Reader DC on some pretty complex tables with good results.

For folks using plain text here is the URL: https://accessibility.hhs.texas.gov/docs/processes/ComplexTables.zip

Related tutorials are available on our training page: https://accessibility.hhs.texas.gov/training.htm

Mike Moore
EIR (Electronic Information Resources) Accessibility Supervisor
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Civil Rights Office