Merged cells in tables


tonea.ctr.morrow@...
 

I don’t think this is a screen reader question, I think it is a perception question.

 

I don’t remember where I saw it, but some guidance somewhere said that accessibility means don’t merge cells in tables. I wanted to know if that was outdated or still a good idea.

 

Here’s an example of a plain table without any merged cells. It is 3 rows and 3 columns. This was composed in Outlook, so it let me specify a header row, but not the headers for each row…

Ice Cream

Nuts

Whipped Cream

Chocolate

73%

92%

Vanilla

88%

52%

 

Here’s an example of a table with merged cells. Again, it is 3 rows and 3 columns, but this time the 3 cells in the first column have been merged into one large cell. Again, a header row is specified.

Actions Agreed Upon

Who

What

Mary

Write a formal letter of praise

John

Email all members with the good news

 

When I tab through, as MS Word says to do, then the merged cell is the first cell for each row. It read as:

Actions Agreed Upon, Who, What

Actions Agreed Upon, Mary, Write a formal letter of praise

Actions Agreed Upon, John, Email all members with the good news

 

If that is the way people understand it, then I think that would be fine. I just need to know if anyone wants to weigh in on tables and organization and accessibility.

 

Tonea

 

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