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designing a table for accessible PDF

New Here ,
Apr 12, 2023 Apr 12, 2023

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Hello everybody,

I have recently started working on creating accessible PDF documents. For this I use InDesign and Acrobat Reader on my Mac. For verification, I use Acrobat Reader and callas pdfGoHTML.

I understand that a table is accessible if there is a header row tagged "TH" and if the cells are tagged "TD". My question is about a table that was originally supposed to be displayed with colored boxes only, to indicate whether something applies or not. Since I was not supposed to replace the boxes with text, I looked for symbols for both fields and added a legend to them. This should make the table recognizable as such.

However, I'm not sure if this is actually a solution in terms of accessibility. After all, presumably only the name of the symbol would be read out to a screen reader, which could potentially lead to confusion. Or am I wrong about that?

My second approach was to try to add alternative text to the icons. However, alternate text can only ever be attached to complete frames, not symbols that are in a table like type. Is this true or is there another solution?

I have not been very successful in my research so far, so I would really appreciate any tips and answers.

Attached is a picture of the table.

Best regardsTabelle.jpg

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How to , Print , Publish online

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Community Expert ,
Apr 14, 2023 Apr 14, 2023

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Maybe you can add text in the table cells that is set to no stroke and no fill color. The reader would still read it. 

Tables, even when tagged correctly, are a weak moment in your effort to communicate. Consider re-designing your document, where possible, to avoid presenting information in a table (a device that is inherently sight-oriented). I know. I know. It often is not possible to do that way!

Mike Witherell

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Community Expert ,
Apr 14, 2023 Apr 14, 2023

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It would be fairly easy to create script that will convert table into bunch of TextFrames 😉 

 

▒►ID-Tasker - most powerful tool ever created for InDesign◄▒

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Community Expert ,
Apr 14, 2023 Apr 14, 2023

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Hi @wan tan

Question: is there a reason why the data is in a table? In other words, how is the cell content in a row related? How is the data in a column related?

 

Example, using a sales report:

You'd have columns for each month of the year, and rows for each product sold.

 

I don't see such a relationship in your screen capture: it looks like the table is used to lay out or organize the different pieces of information. If that's the case, that's an accessibility error: tables can't be used for layout. Instead, they must organize the data like a spreadsheet does...in a matrix of columns and rows.

 

If that's the case, why not arrange the text as a list, or multiple lists? Using InDesign's split column feature, your can have the data arranged in 3 columns like your sample.

 

For readability and accessibility, another error is using color alone to designate something, like whether something applies or not. The actual text or symbol needs to designate that, not color.

 

You could, for example, use checkboxes and X's or any other symbol on your font:

= Applies

= Doesn't apply

 

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
|    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2023 Apr 18, 2023

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Do you receive any errors while doing Accessibility Checks?
Please share that error here.

To create an Accessibility table, Select the table header right click, choose to Convert to Header Rows

 

Thanks!

 

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