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From: Userite <richard@userite.com>
Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2013 19:58:22 -0000
Message-ID: <67AC080ECAC94582A2F3ED5ED560168E@DaddyPC>
To: "Andy Keyworth" <akeyworth@tbase.com>, <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Hi Andy,

The <tbody>, <thead> and <tfoot> elements were designed to be used when printing a long tables via a printer (not a screen). Their purpose was to repeat the header cells on the top of each page so that continuation sheets are easier to understand. Most spread-sheet programmes such as MS Excel have this function built in under their print options.

If you have a long table in HTML you *can* use CSS to fix the horizontal position of the <thead> and <tfoot> blocks so that the main data part of the table rolls up and down within a frame. I have done this as an exercise with students – but I have never seen it done in the real world. However this is a method for visual presentation and so of no use to a screen reader which already has the function to repeat the relevant <th> cells whenever requested.

In practice, 99% of the times that I come across <tbody> etc. it is just cluttering up the HTML code to no purpose whatsoever. 

From: Andy Keyworth 
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2013 7:09 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org 
Subject: Re: TBODY



Thought I’d jump in on this one- I tested some simple HTML tables (both with and without the <TBODY> element) using JAWS 10.0 and NVDA 2012.2.1. None of these seemed to recognize, or change behavior due to, <TBODY>.


I’m hard-pressed to think of an example or situation where changing screen reader behaviour for <TBODY> would really be mandated; it’s an under-utilized element; many tables have header cells right inside what we’d consider the table body, anyway; and well-structured, accessible tables are possible anyway.



>Hi Gian,

>On 9 Jan 2013, at 08:06, Gian Wild wrote:

>Does anyone know how screen readers handle TBODY?

>any understanding or requests how they should handle it?



(Apologies for the accidental duplicate message sent earlier.)




Andy Keyworth
Senior Web Accessibility Specialist | T-Base Communications Inc.
19 Main Street │ Ottawa, ON │ K1S 1A9
telephone. 613. 236. 0866 Ext. 256 │ fax. 613. 236. 0484 
email. akeyworth@tbase.com

Received on Tuesday, 22 January 2013 19:58:46 UTC

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