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508 Compliant Table (Tab Order Error)

Community Beginner ,
Jul 06, 2020

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I'm working on a graphic that has a table (in InDesign 2020) and needs to be 508 compliant. I've been stuck and confused on how to fix the table's reading order. I have the cell and table styles already made for the table, but there always seems to be a tab order error after the accessiblity check in Acrobat. I've been instructed to only fix the reading order in InDesign, not through the Table Editor in Acrobat. I've been told the headers would fix the issue, but I'm not sure if it means the paragraph or table headers. Would adding table styles to the table delineate what the headers are? After browsing through other forums, support, and videos, I can't seem to find the right answer. I've added a screenshot of what the whole table looks like (with censored info).

 

What would be the most effecient sequence to make an orderly, readable table in design through styles?
Table for 508 QuestionTable for 508 Question

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Correct answer by Bevi_Chagnon___PubCom | Adobe Community Professional

First, accessible tables are not affected by your use of table/cell styles. Those only control the visual formatting of the table, not its tags once exported to PDF.

 

A table's accessibility is based on its structure: that is, the matrix of rows and columns.

  1. A table must have column headers (see #1 in the screen capture).
    In InDesign, add a new row at the top and designate it to be the repeating column header for the table. Each cell in this row should end up with a <TH> tag in the PDF.
  2. You have row headers that span 2 or more rows, making this an irregular table (see #2). Example (apples and pears are row headers:
    Apples     Delicious
                     Granny Smith
                     Macintosh
    Pears       Bartlett
                     Bosch
    This can't be made fully accessible in InDesign and will have to be hand tweaked in Acrobat Pro, adding column spans, scopes, and IDs.
 

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508 Compliant Table (Tab Order Error)

Community Beginner ,
Jul 06, 2020

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I'm working on a graphic that has a table (in InDesign 2020) and needs to be 508 compliant. I've been stuck and confused on how to fix the table's reading order. I have the cell and table styles already made for the table, but there always seems to be a tab order error after the accessiblity check in Acrobat. I've been instructed to only fix the reading order in InDesign, not through the Table Editor in Acrobat. I've been told the headers would fix the issue, but I'm not sure if it means the paragraph or table headers. Would adding table styles to the table delineate what the headers are? After browsing through other forums, support, and videos, I can't seem to find the right answer. I've added a screenshot of what the whole table looks like (with censored info).

 

What would be the most effecient sequence to make an orderly, readable table in design through styles?
Table for 508 QuestionTable for 508 Question

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Bevi_Chagnon___PubCom | Adobe Community Professional

First, accessible tables are not affected by your use of table/cell styles. Those only control the visual formatting of the table, not its tags once exported to PDF.

 

A table's accessibility is based on its structure: that is, the matrix of rows and columns.

  1. A table must have column headers (see #1 in the screen capture).
    In InDesign, add a new row at the top and designate it to be the repeating column header for the table. Each cell in this row should end up with a <TH> tag in the PDF.
  2. You have row headers that span 2 or more rows, making this an irregular table (see #2). Example (apples and pears are row headers:
    Apples     Delicious
                     Granny Smith
                     Macintosh
    Pears       Bartlett
                     Bosch
    This can't be made fully accessible in InDesign and will have to be hand tweaked in Acrobat Pro, adding column spans, scopes, and IDs.
 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 06, 2020

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First, accessible tables are not affected by your use of table/cell styles. Those only control the visual formatting of the table, not its tags once exported to PDF.

 

A table's accessibility is based on its structure: that is, the matrix of rows and columns.

  1. A table must have column headers (see #1 in the screen capture).
    In InDesign, add a new row at the top and designate it to be the repeating column header for the table. Each cell in this row should end up with a <TH> tag in the PDF.
  2. You have row headers that span 2 or more rows, making this an irregular table (see #2). Example (apples and pears are row headers:
    Apples     Delicious
                     Granny Smith
                     Macintosh
    Pears       Bartlett
                     Bosch
    This can't be made fully accessible in InDesign and will have to be hand tweaked in Acrobat Pro, adding column spans, scopes, and IDs.
 
Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs | Books @ www.PubCom.com/books — NEW! Accessible InDesign + PDF

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 07, 2020

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Thank you so much for the response! I do have a couple questions/concerns.

 

The table is already made up of 35 header rows. I can't add another row due to an error say it can't go over 25. Was this because it was placed from an excel file, or is there another way of adding another row?

 

And for the scope of the rows connected to one header, should each of them be within the row scope? How could I know if they're together with that header?

 

thank you again for your time and advice.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 07, 2020

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One table with 35 header rows?? That can't be right of course. I have a feeling you did not fully understand Bevi...

And, if there are headers on the side, they need to be defined as TH (with scope Rows) as well. You have to define this in Acrobat Pro as InDesign can not. Same with setting the scope of a header to row, column or both as well as the number. For more complicated tables you have to define which TD (table Data cells) belong to which headers (use the TH id's for this). You have to use the Reading order tool in Accessibility tools to use the Acrobat Table editor.

If you have no training in Accessible PDF and Acrobat I would advice you to find someone that can do this remediation (at least for tables) for you...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 07, 2020

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35 header rows?

I'm trying to imagine why a table would need 35 header rows! And would there be any room left on the page for actual data cells?

 

To help clarify, here's a screen capture about table structure from my workbooks:

The <THead> section holds one or more column header rows. Each header cell is tagged with <TH>.The <THead> section holds one or more column header rows. Each header cell is tagged with <TH>.

 

The portion highlighted with Red has the column header rows, tagged with <TH>. They are the lables at the top of a column to identify that column, such as "Total land area." And if the table reflows onto 2 or more pages, the column headers repeat at the top of each new page.

 

Can you tell us what your column headers are? And how many rows are in them...one or two? (Not 35, I hope!)

 

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs | Books @ www.PubCom.com/books — NEW! Accessible InDesign + PDF

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 07, 2020

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The column headers are for single regions in my county.
This table was already created before I needed to edit it.
Screenshot (120).png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 07, 2020

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From your screen capture, we can see that the table was created with 1 body row and 35 header rows.

Yikes!

You'll need to rebuild the table correctly if you want it to work. Maybe flip the orientation?

Since we can't see the table, it's difficult to advise you.

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs | Books @ www.PubCom.com/books — NEW! Accessible InDesign + PDF

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