Data table with SUMMARY and TH Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: October 16, 2016

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 2 screen reader / browser combinations

WCAG Technique: H73: Using the summary attribute of the table element to give an overview of data tables

Code used for this test:


        <table summary='Data table summary'>
          <tbody>
            <tr>
              <th>Morning</th>
              <th>Afternoon</th>
            </tr>
            <tr>
              <td>Free</td>
              <td>Busy</td>
            </tr>
          </tbody>
        </table>
    

Reliability Trend

This graph shows reliability over time for this code in NVDA, JAWS, WindowEyes and Voiceover. Other screen readers don't have enough historical data yet to plot trends.

100%80%60%40%20%0%2014100%2015100%2016100%

Change History

Last updated: October 16, 2016

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
OK NVDA 2016.2FF48 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, data table summary. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2016.2IE11 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, data table summary. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2015.2FF41 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, data table summary. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2015.2IE11 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, data table summary. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2014.1FF41 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, data table summary. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2014.1IE11 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, data table summary. Row one column one, morning. Column two afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK JAWS 17.0.2619FF48 Reading Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 17.0.2619IE11 Reading Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 16.0.4350FF41 Reading Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 16.0.4350IE11 Reading Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 15.0.9023FF41 Reading Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 15.0.9023IE11 Reading Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002FF41 ReadingColumn one TH read along with column two TH for cells in header row Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, morning, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002IE11 ReadingColumn one TH read along with column two TH for cells in header row Summary colon, data table summary. Table with two columns and two rows. Morning (column one, row one, morning). Afternoon (column two, row one, morning, afternoon). Free (column one, row two, morning, free). Busy (column two, row two, afternoon, busy).
OK WindowEyes 9.2IE11Table Table, data table summary, two rows, two columns, morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK WindowEyes 8.4IE11Table Table seven, data table summary, two rows, two columns (table seven, data table summary, one R one C, morning). Morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.11Safari 9.1.2 Reading Table two columns, two rows, data table summary. Morning, column one of two. Afternoon, column two of two. Row two of two, morning, free, column one of two. Afternoon, busy, column two of two.
OK VoiceOver OSX 10.10Safari 9.0.1 Reading Table two columns, two rows. Morning, column one of two. Afternoon, column two of two. Row two of two, morning, free, column one of two. Afternoon, busy, column two of two.
OK VoiceOver iOS 9.1Safari iOS 9.1 Reading Morning, table start. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy, table end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 8.4Safari iOS 8.4 Reading Morning, table start. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy, table end.
OK Dolphin SR 15.05IE11 Reading Table two rows, two columns, summary data table summary, morning, column one, row one. Afternoon, column two, row one. Free, column one, row two. Busy, column two, row two.

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Test notes

All tests were carried out with screen reader factory settings. JAWS in particular has a wide variety of settings controlling exactly what gets spoken.

Screen readers allow users to interact in different modes, and can produce very different results in each mode. The modes used in these tests are:

In the «What the user hears» column: