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colored tables

From: Leonard R. Kasday <kasday@acm.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 09:12:00 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: wai-wcag-editor@w3.org
Cc: w3c-wai-er-ig@w3.org
Hi wcag editor,

Here's something that came up in an er-ig discussion.

I've seen a couple of cases where people color table cells to show
information. See for example discussion at


Note this is a real data table, not merely use of table for layout.

I didn't see a checkpoint that explicitly warned against this.  For
example, "don't use color alone" doesn't really apply if the fill color is
black... people don't think of that as using color.

The workaround for this is to put an image in the cell with alt text.  The
image could be a rectangle filling the cell or some other shape.  In either
case there can be suitable alt text.

Leonard R. Kasday, Ph.D.
Universal Design Engineer, Institute on Disabilities/UAP, and
Adjunct Professor, Electrical Engineering
Temple University

Ritter Hall Annex, Room 423, Philadelphia, PA 19122
(215} 204-2247 (voice)
(800) 750-7428 (TTY)
Received on Thursday, 22 July 1999 09:09:28 UTC

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