Identifying Columns and Rows Using the ID Attribute
(Updated: 10.28.2010) The sample table, copied from W3C Using id and headers attributes to associate data cells with header cells in data tables:
Homework Exams Projects 1 2 Final 1 2 Final 15% 15% 15% 20% 10% 10% 15%
To give you a better understanding of what those using screen readers hear, and the importance of using properly structured tables, we have recorded both JAWS and NVDA speaking while we navigate the table. The recordings are Closed Captioned.
What NVDA Says
With NVDA 2010.2.RC1, the ability to read column and row headings has been added. With both readers, what is heard depends on how you move through the table, and configuration options.
Here is NVDA reading the table in Read All mode, using the default eSpeak voice "Max." Notice NVDA reads the column headings for the data:
In this recording, we started in the column header "2" under "Projects." We then pressed the DownArrow repeatedly, listening to each successive cell begining with "Projects, column seven, final." For contrast, we used the AT&T voice "Mike:"
Using Ctl+Alt+RightArrow to move between the data cells sounds exactly like using the DownArrow key. We start in row 2, column 1 (Homework, 15%), and begin pressing Ctl+Alt+RightArrow:
What JAWS Says
Here, JAWS reads the table in Read All mode (continuous reading). The recording begins as we reach the table. Unlike NVDA, JAWS does not read the column headings for the data:
We start with the cursor in the column heading "Homework." The recording begins when we press Ctl+Alt+DownArrow. We then move to the right using Ctl+Alt+RightArrow to each cell, and JAWS reads the column headings and cell value:
Unlike NVDA, JAWS does not read the column headings when navigating using the DownArrow key. We started with our cursor in the "Final" heading column under "Projects" and then simply pressed the DownArrow to move through the data row.:
Now that you have the column headings memorized, and you've graduated from the Evelyn Wood Speed Listening Course, you can ask JAWS to read the entire row by pressing WindowKey+Numpad5. Again, JAWS does not read the column headings:
Table Source Code:
Tables: ID Attribute Video
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