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Re: Tables spanning pages


From: Jonathan Avila
Date: Oct 30, 2020 3:15PM

The situation where this is a problem is when documents are over 50 pages or the threshold set for screen readers to be delivered accessiblity content in Acrobat. If the page count is larger then the table headers will not be available on the subsequent pages. Many people are not aware of this setting in Acrobat. It can be changed - it's purpose was originally to speed up document access for long documents.


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of <EMAIL REMOVED>
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 1:56 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Tables spanning pages

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The standard to use for this is not WCAG, but PDF/UA-1.

In the latest PDF/UA-1 Syntax Guide, it specifically mandates that a table spanning multiple pages should be in one <Table> tag. See, third bullet.

Stop squabbling about this and instead download the free reference guide from the PDF Association at https://www.pdfa.org/resource/tagged-pdf-best-practice-guide-syntax/

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-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 1:31 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Tables spanning pages

I don't believe that WCAG says anything on this topic, but I always combine the tables back into a single one as you describe. I have not encountered any downside for any user groups or assistive technologies.

I don't know why anyone would say that splitting the tables makes it easier to manage for people who use screen readers - it's quite the opposite. For the most part, screen reader users are not aware of page breaks as they read through a document, so reading the re-combined table is perfectly normal for them. By contrast, splitting the tables is confusing and severely impacts usability because you can no longer navigate up and down the full height of the table.

Steve Green
Managing Director
Test Partners Ltd

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Joseph Krack
Sent: 30 October 2020 16:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] Tables spanning pages

We have a question within our group about the appropriate way to tag tables in PDF which span multiple tables.

If one table in Word spans multiple pages, it will appear as multiple Tables in the PDF tag tree when converted. We have one table in particular that spans three pages and so is split into three Tables in the PDF.

Some of our group believes the TR tags should all be combined back into one table in the tag tree (artifact the additional THead/TRs and then delete). This keeps the number of tables in the document consistent with the original document.

Some others like the fact that the table is split as they believe it is easier to manage for persons who use screen readers.

Is there guidance from WCAG on this topic? What would be the best way to handle this?