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PDF6 Table with header markup Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 21 screen reader / browser combinations

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%202025%202113%

Change History

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
Fail NVDA 2021.2Chrome 94 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail NVDA 2021.2FF91 ReadingVoiced as table, but no cell headers voiced. Table with 1 rows and 2 columns, column header, column 1, morning. Column 2, afternoon. Column 1, free. Column 2, busy. Out of table
Fail NVDA 2021.2Edge 94 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail NVDA 2020.2Chrome 86 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail NVDA 2020.2FF78 ReadingNo table structure voiced - no table roles showing in Firefox accessibility inspector. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy
Fail NVDA 2020.2Edge 92 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
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 Reading 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 Reading 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 Reading 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 2021.2107.12Chrome 94 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail JAWS 2021.2107.12FF91 ReadingIncorrect cell headers voiced, and graphic role voiced for non-graphics. Table with 2 columns and 2 rows. Morning, graphic (column 1). Afternoon, graphic (column 1). Free, graphic (morning afternoon, column 1). Busy, graphic (column 2).
Fail JAWS 2021.2107.12Edge 94 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail JAWS 2020.2008.24Chrome 86 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, busy.
Fail JAWS 2020.2008.24FF78 ReadingNo table structure voiced - no table roles showing in Firefox accessibility inspector. Morning, afternoon, free, busy.
Fail JAWS 2020.2008.24Edge 92 ReadingNo table structure voiced. Morning, afternoon. Free, 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 Reading 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 Reading 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 Reading 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 VoiceOver macOS 11.5Safari 15.0 ReadingRow and column position voiced twice for data cells. Table, no selection. Morning, heading, column 1, row 1. Afternoon, heading, column 2, row 1. Morning, free, column 1, row 2 column 1, row 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2, row 2, column 2, row 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.15Safari 14.1 Reading Table, no selection. Morning, heading. Afternoon, heading. Morning, free, column 1, row 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2, row 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.14Safari 13.0 Reading Table, no selection. Morning, heading. Afternoon, heading. Morning, free, column 1, row 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2, row 2.
OK VoiceOver iOS 14.7Safari iOS 14.7Touch Morning, column header, row 1, column 1, heading, table start, 2 rows, 2 columns. Afternoon, column header, row 1, column 2, heading. Morning, free, row 2, column 1. Afternoon, busy, row 2, column 2, table end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 13.3Safari iOS 13.3Touch Morning, column header, row 1, column 1, heading, table start, 2 rows, 2 columns. Afternoon, column header, row 1, column 2, heading. Morning, free, row 2, column 1. Afternoon, busy, row 2, column 2, table end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 12.4Safari iOS 12.4Touch 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 2, 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: