Example for Checkpoint
5.2 - For data tables that have two or more logical levels of row or column headers, use markup to associate data cells and header cells.

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Priority 1

For "complex" tables, i.e. where tables have structural divisions beyond those implicit in the rows and columns, use appropriate markup to identify those divisions.

Example: A travel expenses worksheet. While the following data table appears simple enough visually, it would be difficult to understand if read by some of today's screen-readers. A good way to approximate what some screen-reader users will hear is to hold a ruler to the table, and read straight across the screen. Then, move the ruler down until the next line of characters is displayed. Read straight across. Acter a while, pick a data cell at random and, without looking at the column or row title, try and remember what headers describe that data point. The larger and more complex the table, the harder it would be to remember the row and column relationships.

Example 1: TRAVEL EXPENSES (actual cost, US$)


Meals Room Trans. Total
San Jose
 25 Aug 97 37.74 112.00 45.00
 26 Aug 97 27.28 112.00 45.00
Subtotal 65.02 224.00 90.00 379.02
 27 Aug 97 96.25 109.00 36.00
 28 Aug 97 35.00 109.00 36.00
Subtotal 131.25 218.00 72.00 421.25
Totals 196.27 442.00 162.00 800.27

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Chuck Letourneau & Geoff Freed

W3C Web Accessibility Initiative

Copyright © 2000 W3C