Making Tables Accessible in Adobe Acrobat Pro – A Comprehensive Guide


Hello, and welcome to the Accessibility Guy channel. Today we’re going to be looking all about table accessibility in Adobe Acrobat Pro. We will cover topics like using the reading order tool to tag individual cells, setting the scope of individual cells, fixing row and column-span problems, and adding associated header IDs for a header and data cell connection.

Other PDF Accessibility Posts

Table tag breakdown

  1. Table Parent Tag <Table>
  2. Table Row Child tag <TR>
  3. Table Header Cell <TH>
  4. Table Data Cell <TD>
  5. Table on Page
Table Parent Tag <Table>
Table Row Child tag <TR>
Table Header Cell <TH>
Table Data Cell <TD>
Table on Page

Utilizing the Reading Order Tool for Tagging Cells

To begin, launch the reading order tool by selecting the accessibility button and then choosing “Reading Order.” You may want to deselect “Show table cells” and “Show tables and figures” to make it easier to see the text. Select the text that should be together and click on “Text Paragraph” to group them. The checkboxes greatly change the view of the table:

Reading order tool view

Cleaning Up the Tags Panel

Make sure all cells are in the correct row by going through the tags, cutting and pasting them to the right location when needed. Set all cells in the first row as table data cells, and change any incorrectly labeled paragraph tags to table data cell tags. Properly format all table rows, ensuring that table header (TH) and table data (TD) cells contain the contents of the corresponding cell.

Cleaning up the tags panel

Running the Accessibility Checker

Run the accessibility checker to identify any issues with rows and columns in your table. If the table fails regularity, check for any merged cells that may need column and row span adjustments. After fixing any issues, run the accessibility checker again to ensure regularity is passing.

Setting the Scope of Table Headers

With the reading order tool open, right-click on the table and select “Table Editor.” Select all table header cells at the top of the table, right-click and select “Table Cell Properties,” and change the scope from none to “Column.” If you have table headers on the row side, you can set the scope to “Row” as needed.

  1. Launch Reading order tool
  2. Right-click inside of the table and select Table editor
table editor
  1. Select the cells you want to set the scope for
  2. Right-click and select table cell properties
  3. Adjust the scope to either row, column, or both
setting the scope

Making a Data Connection Between Table Headers and Contents

Right-click in the table and select “Table Editor,” followed by “Auto Generate Header Cell IDs.” This will provide a name for each heading tag. For each group of table data cells, right-click and select “Table Cell Properties.” Add the corresponding header ID to the “Associated Header Cell IDs” section. This step is not required for all standards.


This comprehensive guide has demonstrated how to make tables accessible in Adobe Acrobat Pro using various tools, including the reading order tool, setting scope, and more. By following these best practices, you can ensure your tables are accessible to all users. Don’t forget to like and subscribe for more personalized tips and instructions on accessibility best practices.