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Data table with th cell headers Screen reader compatibility

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Expected Result: works in a screen reader

Actual Result: causes problems in 5 screen reader / browser combinations

WCAG Technique: H51: Using table markup to present tabular information

Code used for this test:


        <table>
          <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 and Voiceover. Other screen readers don't have enough historical data yet to plot trends.

100%80%60%40%20%0%2014100%2015100%2016100%201783%2018100%2019100%2020100%2021100%

Change History

Last updated: October 16, 2021

Screen readerBrowserModeNotesWhat the user hears
OK NVDA 2021.2Chrome 94 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, morning, column one, morning. Afternoon, column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2021.2FF91 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2021.2Edge 94 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, morning, column one, morning. Afternoon, column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2020.2Chrome 86 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, morning, column one, morning. Afternoon, column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2020.2FF78 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2020.2Edge 92 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, morning, column one, morning. Afternoon, column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2019.2Chrome 79 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, morning, column one, morning. Afternoon, column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2019.2FF68 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2019.2IE11 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2018.4Chrome 73 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, morning, column one, morning. Afternoon, column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2018.4FF60 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2018.4IE11 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2017.3FF60 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2017.3IE11 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2016.2FF48 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, 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, 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, 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, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2014.1FF31 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, 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, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2012.1FF31 Reading Table with two rows and two columns, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, morning, column one, free. Afternoon, column two, busy.
OK NVDA 2012.1IE11 ReadingNo headers read in IE Table with two rows, row one, column one, morning. Column two, afternoon. Row two, column one, free. Column two, busy.
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12Chrome 94 ReadingReads cell headers when using table navigation commands Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12FF91 ReadingReads cell headers when using table navigation commands Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2021.2107.12Edge 94 ReadingReads cell headers when using table navigation commands Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24Chrome 86 ReadingReads cell headers when using table navigation commands Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24FF78 ReadingReads cell headers when using table navigation commands Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2020.2008.24Edge 92 ReadingReads cell headers when using table navigation commands Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1Chrome 79 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy (column 2, row 2, afternoon, busy).
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1FF68 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2019.1912.1IE11 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2Chrome 73 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2FF60 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 2018.1811.2IE11 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 18.0.5038FF52 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 18.0.5038IE11 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 17.0.2619FF48 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 17.0.2619IE11 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 16.0.4350FF41 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 16.0.4350IE11 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 15.0.9023FF31 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 15.0.9023IE11 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 14.0.9002FF31 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
Fail JAWS 14.0.9002IE11 ReadingWhen reading header rows, the TH for the first column is read along with the TH from the current column (e.g. Morning, afternoon) when Ctrl+Alt+Numpad+5 pressed 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 JAWS 13.0.852FF31 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK JAWS 13.0.852IE11 ReadingReads cell headers using Ctrl+Alt+5 Table with two columns and two rows. Morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.
OK WindowEyes 9.2IE11Table Table, two rows, two columns, morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK WindowEyes 8.4IE11Table Table thirteen, two rows, two columns (table thirteen, one R one C, morning). Morning. Afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK VoiceOver macOS 11.5Safari 15.0 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.15Safari 14.1 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.14Safari 13.0 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.13Safari 12.1 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.12Safari 10.1.2 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.11Safari 9.1.2 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.10Safari 9.0.1 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, busy, column 2 of 2.
OK VoiceOver macOS 10.9Safari 7.0.3 Reading Table, 2 columns, 2 rows. Morning, column 1 of 2. Afternoon, column 2 of 2. Row 2 of 2, morning, free, column 1 of 2.
OK VoiceOver iOS 14.7Safari iOS 14.7 ReadingColumn headers are not read by the Read Screen gesture, but are read by the Read Item gesture. Morning, row header, column header, row 1 column 1, table start, 2 rows 2 columns. Afternoon, column header, row 1 column 2. Morning, free, row 2 column 1. Afternoon, busy, row 2 column 2, table end, end, end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 13.3Safari iOS 13.3 ReadingColumn headers are not read by the Read Screen gesture, but are read by the Read Item gesture. Morning, row header, column header, row 1 column 1, table start, 2 rows 2 columns. Afternoon, column header, row 1 column 2. Morning, free, row 2 column 1. Afternoon, busy, row 2 column 2, table end, end, end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 12.4Safari iOS 12.4 ReadingColumn headers are not read by the Read Screen gesture, but are read by the Read Item gesture. Morning, row 1 column 1, table start, 2 rows 2 columns. Afternoon, row 1 column 2. Morning, free, row 2 column 1. Afternoon, busy, row 2 column 2, table end, end, end.
OK VoiceOver iOS 11.4Safari iOS 11.4 ReadingColumn headers are not read by the Read Screen gesture, but are read by the Read Item gesture. Morning, row 1 column 1, table start, 2 rows 2 columns. Afternoon, row 1 column 2. Morning, free, row 2 column 1. Afternoon, busy, row 2 column 2, table end, end, end.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 10.3Safari iOS 10.3 ReadingThe first column header is not read out. Morning, row 1, column 1, table start, 2 rows, 2 columns. Afternoon, column 2. Free, row 2, column 1. Afternoon, busy, column 2, table end.
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. Free. Busy, table end.
Fail VoiceOver iOS 7.1Safari iOS 7.1 ReadingWhen reading header rows, the TH for the first column is read along with the TH from the current column (e.g. Morning, afternoon) Morning, table start. Morning, afternoon. Morning, free. Afternoon, busy.
OK Dolphin SR 15.05IE11 ReadingDolphin doesn't read TH headers for TD cells Table two rows, two columns. Morning, column one, row one. Afternoon, column two, row one. Free, column one, row two. Busy, column two, row two.
OK SaToGo 3.4.96.0IE11 ReadingSaToGo doesn't read TH headers for TD cells, but can read corresponding cell in row one via keystroke Entering table, morning. Afternoon. Free. Busy.

SortSite rules: AccHtmlTableNoHeaders

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: