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Thread: Tables spanning pages

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Number of posts in this thread: 7 (In chronological order)

From: Joseph Krack
Date: Fri, Oct 30 2020 10:31AM
Subject: Tables spanning pages
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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?

Thanks!

Joe

From: Philip Kiff
Date: Fri, Oct 30 2020 11:30AM
Subject: Re: Tables spanning pages
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Hi Joe,

I agree with the first of your group. The correct way to tag the header
rows in a table that spans multiple pages in a PDF is to artifact the
header rows that appear on subsequent pages. They should remain visible
since table headers should be repeated visibly on every page of a table.
But these additional header rows should be removed from the PDF tag tree.

Microsoft Word makes a mistake by splitting a single logical table into
multiple table tags when converting to PDF. Eventually, I am sure that
both Microsoft Word and Adobe will fix this error in their Word-to-PDF
conversion engines, but until they do, it should be fixed manually,
using the method you describe. Delete the extra header tag and artifact
the content of that row, and then cut and paste all the rows from that
separate table into the first main table. Repeat for each page.

Some good Word-to-PDF conversion tools exist that already do this
correctly - both AxesPDF for Word and CommonLook Office will
automatically artifact these extra header rows for you and merge all the
table cells from multiple pages into a single table. Similar problems
can sometimes occur with nested lists when they span a page break in
Microsoft Word, causing a single list to be split into multiple lists.
These also need to be manually fixed (or use one of the other tools I
mentioned, which both are capable of correctly tagging such lists).

Phil.

Philip Kiff
D4K Communications

On 2020-10-30 12:31, Joseph Krack wrote:
> 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?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Joe
>
> > > >

From: Steve Green
Date: Fri, Oct 30 2020 11:31AM
Subject: Re: Tables spanning pages
← Previous message | Next message →

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 ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Joseph Krack
Sent: 30 October 2020 16:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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?

Thanks!

Joe

From: chagnon@pubcom.com
Date: Fri, Oct 30 2020 11:55AM
Subject: Re: Tables spanning pages
← Previous message | Next message →

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 4.2.6.2, 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/

— — —
Bevi Chagnon, founder | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = |
US delegate to the ISO for PDF and PDF/UA universal access standards
Adobe Community Professional - ACP
— — —
PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing
print | digital | web | documents | pdfs | epubs
consulting • training • development • design • sec. 508 services
ms office • adobe acrobat • indesign • xml + automated workflows
— — —
How We Work: see slidedeck
Classes: Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes
— — —
Latest blog-newsletter – A Simple Guide for Writing Alt-text


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 1:31 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Joseph Krack
Sent: 30 October 2020 16:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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?

Thanks!

Joe

From: Joseph Krack
Date: Fri, Oct 30 2020 12:41PM
Subject: Re: Tables spanning pages
← Previous message | Next message →

Thanks Bevi, Steve and Philip!

Joe

On 10/30/2020 10:55 AM, = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = wrote:
> 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 4.2.6.2, 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/
>
> — — —
> Bevi Chagnon, founder | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = |
> US delegate to the ISO for PDF and PDF/UA universal access standards
> Adobe Community Professional - ACP
> — — —
> PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing
> print | digital | web | documents | pdfs | epubs
> consulting • training • development • design • sec. 508 services
> ms office • adobe acrobat • indesign • xml + automated workflows
> — — —
> How We Work: see slidedeck
> Classes: Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes
> — — —
> Latest blog-newsletter – A Simple Guide for Writing Alt-text
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
> Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 1:31 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Joseph Krack
> Sent: 30 October 2020 16:32
> To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Joe
>
> > > >
> > > >

From: Jonathan Avila
Date: Fri, Oct 30 2020 3:15PM
Subject: Re: Tables spanning pages
← Previous message | Next message →

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.

Jonathan

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

CAUTION: This email originated from outside of the organization. Do not click links or open attachments unless you recognize the sender and know the content is safe.


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 4.2.6.2, 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/

— — —
Bevi Chagnon, founder | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = | US delegate to the ISO for PDF and PDF/UA universal access standards Adobe Community Professional - ACP — — —
PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing print | digital | web | documents | pdfs | epubs consulting • training • development • design • sec. 508 services ms office • adobe acrobat • indesign • xml + automated workflows — — — How We Work: see slidedeck
Classes: Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes — — — Latest blog-newsletter – A Simple Guide for Writing Alt-text


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 1:31 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Joseph Krack
Sent: 30 October 2020 16:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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?

Thanks!

Joe

From: Steve Green
Date: Sat, Oct 31 2020 6:06AM
Subject: Re: Tables spanning pages
← Previous message | No next message

Actually, WCAG is entirely relevant to this discussion. European law requires that all public sector websites meet WCAG 2.1 AA including all documents that can be downloaded from the website. The legislation does not mention PDF/UA.

The legislation started life as the EU Accessibility Directive - https://eur-lex.europa.eu/eli/dir/2016/2102/oj. EU Directives do not apply directly, but they require EU member countries to transcribe the directive into their own law. The UK did this via The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018 - https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/952/made.

This law is driving the vast majority of PDF remediation work in the UK at the moment and is likely to do so as long as public sector organisations keep producing PDFs.

Steve


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
Sent: 30 October 2020 17:56
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Tables spanning pages

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 4.2.6.2, 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/

— — —
Bevi Chagnon, founder | = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = | US delegate to the ISO for PDF and PDF/UA universal access standards Adobe Community Professional - ACP — — —
PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing print | digital | web | documents | pdfs | epubs consulting • training • development • design • sec. 508 services ms office • adobe acrobat • indesign • xml + automated workflows — — — How We Work: see slidedeck
Classes: Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/classes — — — Latest blog-newsletter – A Simple Guide for Writing Alt-text


-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Steve Green
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2020 1:31 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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 ADDRESS REMOVED = > On Behalf Of Joseph Krack
Sent: 30 October 2020 16:32
To: WebAIM Discussion List < = EMAIL ADDRESS 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?

Thanks!

Joe