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RE: large, but simple tables

From: Jim Thatcher <jimthatcher@>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2001 12:28:37 -0600
To: <snip@hellbusch.de>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>

The current versions of HPR (3.02) and JFW (4.0) will read the headers as
you have said you coded them. I don't know about earlier versions.
Window-Eyes won't.

But, you must have things set up correctly and use the right commands to get
around. For HPR, specify you want headings read in Miscellaneous settings
(not the default), and use table reading mode, ALT+T and arrow keys to move
around the table. For JFW use ALT+CTRL+Arrows to move around tables and hear

Note, you only hear when headings change. So, for example, moving down the
table you will hear the row headings.

Although it is heresy, the simplest and most usable solution is to take all
the top material OUT of the table, so the actual headings, "Bezeichnung
Portion KH BE" are in the first row.

Now HPR and JFW will read the headings. Window-Eyes will too when it is set
up correctly: Use CTRL+SHIFT+H to cycle through headings announcements and
choose "Column and Row." Then Turn on table mode with CTRL+PLUS. When in
table mode, use INS+Arrow to move around the table.

Accessibility Consulting

-----Original Message-----
From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
Behalf Of Jan Eric Hellbusch
Sent: Saturday, December 22, 2001 2:57 AM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: large, but simple tables


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 13:31:19 UTC

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