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Re: Denoting a field is mandatory; hiding table headings to sighted users

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>
Date: Tue, 02 Sep 2003 09:02:31 -0400
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-id: <BB7A0D27.1A68A%andrew_kirkpatrick@wgbh.org>

Are you using the table just so you can have a column to indicate whether
the field is optional or not?

You could hide the table headers best by not using them to begin with.  Use
CSS to line up the <input> fields if needed.  Enclosing a form in a table
can be problematic if you need users to navigate the table in table mode and
enter information in forms mode.  Switching back and forth is possible, but
a pain.    

Regarding the indication that the field is mandatory, I assume that you tell
sighted users what the asterisk means.  Keep doing that and make sure that
the asterisk is in the label.  On top of that, using the title attribute is
a good idea.


On 9/2/03 5:18 AM, "John Trollope" <John.Trollope@unumprovident.co.uk>

> I need the user to supply several bits of information, some of which are
> mandatory. My question is how can I do so that it is presented in an optimal
> way for screen readers?
> For sighted users, I usually denote this with an asterisk.
> Additionally, I would like to do away with the table headers (the items in the
> <th> tags). Is there a way of coding them so that they can be read by screen
> readers but not seen by sighted users?
> Here is the cut-down code for the html.
> Thank you for any help, I have been struggling with this all norning.
> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="2" border="1">
> <caption>Ke mi volas scribi ci-tie?</caption>
> <tr>
>   <th id="Compulsary">Compulsary</th>
>   <th id="Data item">Data item</th>
>   <th id="Info supplied">Information supplied</th>
> </tr>
> <tr>
>   <td class="SummaryMandatoryField" headers="Compulsary">yes</td>
>   <td class="SummaryVariableName" headers="Data item">
> <label for="lngSECTOR_ID">Type of industry</label></td>
>   <td class="SummaryVariableValue" headers="Info supplied">
>   <select class="FormItem" id="lngSECTOR_ID" name="lngSECTOR_ID">
> <option></option>
> <option value="1">Banking, finance & Insurance</option>
>    </select></td>
> </tr>
> <tr>
>   <td class="SummaryMandatoryField" headers="Compulsary">No</td>
>   <td class="SummaryVariableName" headers="Data item">
>   <label for="lngNrOfEmployees">Number of full-time employees</label><br></td>
>   <td class="SummaryVariableValue" headers="Info supplied">
>   <input class="FormItem" id="lngNrOfEmployees" name="lngNrOfEmployees"
> value="" size=8></td>
> </tr>
> </table>
> John
> John Trollope
> Senior Analyst Programmer
> Management Services
> Unum Provident
> Milton Court 
> Dorking RH4 3LZ
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Andrew Kirkpatrick
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Received on Tuesday, 2 September 2003 09:01:11 UTC

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