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Re: Table columns and screen readers

From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2001 00:25:29 -0500 (EST)
To: Rebecca Cox <rebecca@cwa.co.nz>
cc: wai-ig list <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0102010017500.23983-100000@tux.w3.org>
There was a thread recently on this list which actually looked for screen
readers that could do this. It turns out that on some platforms (e.g.
macintosh) it is normal that the screen readers get it right, while on others
(e.g. Windows) it is normally not right (at least by default).

The thread is available from the archives:

I note in that that I said I would try to gather the information into a Web
page - I haven't done that yet. Sorry.

As for how many people stick to this, the answer is "some". The real
question, surely, is how much of a problem does it cause? And the answer,
surprisingly to me, seems to be "still quite a lot". Although it is getting
better.. (I would have tought it would be solved by now. I think the
difficulty for screen readersis that they are required to work with a wide
range of different products, not just Web browsers, so the development time
available for one product becomes limited. As far as I am aware, the speech
solution in the Windows OS - Narrator, only available in english - is not
capable of dealing with two columns of text at all yet, but I have not
checked for a while).



On Thu, 1 Feb 2001, Rebecca Cox wrote:

  I know that we are not "meant" to lay out pages with text in 2 or
  more table cells side by side.

  But, how many people really really stick to this ?

  I would have thought that most screen readers would be able to read
  the first cell's contents, then the next cell etc etc -- rather than
  reading right across the page and turning it all to mush.


Charles McCathieNevile    http://www.w3.org/People/Charles  phone: +61 409 134 136
W3C Web Accessibility Initiative     http://www.w3.org/WAI    fax: +1 617 258 5999
Location: I-cubed, 110 Victoria Street, Carlton VIC 3053, Australia
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Received on Thursday, 1 February 2001 00:25:34 UTC

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