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PDF6 Table with header markup and alt text Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: January 11, 2020

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 8 screen reader / browser combinations

The source Word document has Alt Text and Description set in Word table properties.

WCAG Technique: PDF6 Using table elements for table markup in PDF Documents

Code used for this test:


        <a href='SR_PDF_tables_headers.pdf'>SR_PDF_tables_headers.pdf</a>
    

Reliability Trend

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

100%80%60%40%20%0%201520162017201833%201950%

Change History

Last updated: January 11, 2020

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
Fail NVDA 2019.2Chrome 79 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail NVDA 2019.2FF68 ReadingNo table structure voiced - no table roles showing in Firefox accessibility inspector. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy
OK NVDA 2019.2IE11 ReadingWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Table with 2 rows and 2 columns, row 1, column 1, morning. Column 2, afternoon. Row 2, morning, column 1, free. Afternoon, column 2, busy.
Fail NVDA 2018.4Chrome 73 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail NVDA 2018.4FF60 ReadingNo table structure voiced - no table roles showing in Firefox accessibility inspector. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy
OK NVDA 2018.4IE11 ReadingWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Table with 2 rows and 2 columns, row 1, column 1, morning. Column 2, afternoon. Row 2, morning, column 1, free. Afternoon, column 2, busy.
OK NVDA 2017.3IE11 ReadingWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Table with 2 rows and 2 columns, row 1, column 1, morning. Column 2, afternoon. Row 2, morning, column 1, free. Afternoon, column 2, busy.
Fail JAWS 2019.1912.1Chrome 79 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail JAWS 2019.1912.1FF68 ReadingNo table structure voiced - no table roles showing in Firefox accessibility inspector. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1IE11 ReadingWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Table with 2 columns and 2 rows. Morning (column 1, row 1, morning). Afternoon (column 2, row 1, afternoon). Free (column 1, row 2, morning, free). Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy).
Fail JAWS 2018.1811.2Chrome 73 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail JAWS 2018.1811.2FF60 ReadingNo table structure voiced - no table roles showing in Firefox accessibility inspector. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2IE11 ReadingWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Table with 2 columns and 2 rows. Morning (column 1, row 1, morning). Afternoon (column 2, row 1, afternoon). Free (column 1, row 2, morning, free). Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 17.0.2007IE11 ReadingWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Table with 2 columns and 2 rows. Morning (column 1, row 1, morning). Afternoon (column 2, row 1, afternoon). Free (column 1, row 2, morning, free). Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy).
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.14Safari 13.0 ReadingWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Table, no selection. Morning, heading. Afternoon, heading. Morning, free, column 1, row 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2, row 2.
OK VoiceOver iOS 12.4Safari iOS 12.4TouchWord Alt Text and Description not voiced Morning, row 1, column 1, heading, table start, 2 rows, 2 columns. Afternoon, row 1, column 2, heading. Free, row 2, column 1. Busy, row 2, column 1, table end.

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: