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large, but simple tables

From: Jan Eric Hellbusch <hellbusch@web.de>
Date: Sat, 22 Dec 2001 09:56:59 +0100
To: <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

I have a question on creating long tables which remain accessible. The
problem: on
http://www.diabsite.de/diabetes/ernaehrung/be-tabellen/be_a-z.html there is
an extremely long list of items, each with four characterstics (formatted in
a table); it is hard to read with a screen reader. The main list is to
remain on a single page to enable searching with STRG+F. Other sorted (and
shorter) lists are available. Because the main list becomes incomprehensible
for screen readers, we would like to do one of the following:

1. use headers attribute such as:

<TR><TH id="columnonename">Column 1 title</TH> ...  </TR>
<TR><TD headers="colunonename">column one list item</TD> ... </TR>

The problem here is that we atr unable to discover, whether this works on
screen readers. Neither JAWS 3.7 nor HPR deliver a result.

2. Divide the tables into shorter tables with each containing some 10 items.
Seems feasible, but could mean a lot of maintenance work. This is my

3. Add a dummy graphic behind each of the characteristics (1 pixel
transparent) in each table cell with an alt text specially for the screen
reader. For me an "dirty" solution.

Can anybody please tell me, why we have trouble with realizing the WAI specs
on headers and/or what solution would be best to resolve the problem of
screen reader users getting lost in large tables?

Wishing a Happy Xmas!


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Received on Sunday, 23 December 2001 07:45:57 UTC

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