It’s easy to make tables accessible in Microsoft Word! This means that every table should have a table header set, a style applied, and appropriate settings set.
Video Overview of how to make tables accessible in Microsoft Word
Tips on working with Tables
- Avoid using merged cells when possible. There is no way to apply scope to table headers in Microsoft Word like you can in PDF. So if your doc is staying in Word – avoid merged cells
- Do not use tables to format content. There are more accessible methods for formatting content like using headings or applying columns to text.
- Tables should be used to display important data
- Add a caption to the table
Table Accessibility Checklist:
- Ensure the table has a header row and in some cases a column header
- Set “repeat row across pages” for tables that span more than one page
- Apply a table style
- Table does not have any merged cells
How to set the row / column header
These settings might change depending on the type of data you are working with. Some tables will have first column or total row while others will not.
- Select the table
- Select table Design
- Set the appropriate Header Row / First Column selections
How to set a Table Style
A table style simply changes the visual layout of the table. It will sometimes make the heading cells bold and a little easier to identify.
- Select the table
- Select table design
- Choose a table style
How to set other table properties
The additional table properties will update based on how much data is in the table. Tables that span multiple pages may require testing of different settings to ensure proper accessibility.
- Select the first row in the table
- Right click and open the properties menu
- Select Row
- Select “repeat as header row” on the first row
How to add a table caption
A table caption helps the user quickly identify the purpose of this table and can be used to create a table of contents in Microsoft Word.
- Right click the table
- Select insert caption
- Add a name to the caption
- Select Ok