Section 08 | Tables

Creating tables that are accessible to everyone can be challenging. Most people can recognize large and complex tables quickly. However, the same cannot be said for the visually impaired or for software applications.

PDFs may contain tables, but there is usually no way to know how they were constructed. A glance through column headings and rows in a table allows people to recognize the order and meaning of the table. For example, a person may recognize that only a few cells are relevant to the entire table. Meanwhile, creating tables with an application poses challenges regarding orientation, the number of columns, the rows, and the proper cell order when trying to convey their overall meaning.

A table in a PDF may be created by placing text in specific places and adding graphic lines. Therefore, it may look like a table to the user but it is not possible to extract it from a database. A table may also exist as an image in the file.

In this section, GlobalVision describes how to best create proper tables in applications so that they are properly recognized by the programs in question and understood by users.


8.1 Use the Table function in Microsoft Word

RISK
Tables are formatted poorly.

ISSUES
Tables created using tabs or by drawing lines do not import into graphic-design software properly as the reading order is compromised.

EXAMPLE

SOLUTION
Do:
Use the Table function to create tables.

Don’t:
Add tabs to create tables.
Draw lines to create tables.

TIPS
The following steps describe how to create tables in Microsoft Word:

  • Go to Insert and click on Table.
  • Select the desired number of rows and columns from the Table Palette and click OK.

 

8.2 Use Adobe InDesign to create tables
in artwork files

RISK
Tables are formatted poorly.

ISSUE
The table structure is not defined when creating tables using a design program like Adobe Illustrator.

EXAMPLE

SOLUTION
Do:
PCreate an asset inventory.
Use Adobe InDesign to create tables.

Don’t:
Use Adobe Illustrator to create tables.

TIPS
The following steps detail how to create tables in Adobe InDesign:

  • Create a new text box.
  • Go to the Table menu.
  • Create a new text box.
  • Click on Insert Table.
  • Specify the new table parameters.

 

8.3 Don’t create table header rows in Microsoft Word

RISKS
The document may become desynchronized by the proofreading software used.

ISSUE
A repeating header in a table row may be detected as a repeat.

EXAMPLE

SOLUTION
Do:
PPVerify that tables used in the document are not repeating the heading on subsequent pages.

Don’t:
Use a table header when you create a table in Microsoft Word.

TIPS
The following steps describe how to ensure a table header will not be repeated when using Microsoft Word:

  • Select the row or rows of the table in question and right-click.
  • Click Table Properties in the Table menu.
  • Under the Row tab, verify that the “Repeat as header row
    at the top of each page” option is unchecked.

 


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