8 · Appropriate use of Tables

Web 2.0 Services

The layout of the contents of a web page can be set in tables but this can mean that a screen reader user has to listen to what comes first as the software reads across the page from left to right. It may not read down individual columns before crossing to the next row so it is best to keep tables just for data. The order of content within the table and the use of row and column headers is important.


This test has 5 possible outcomes.

N/A Not applicable
0% Page layout is built using tables and access is poor. Data tables do not have semantic headers, captions or summaries.
33% Some data tables, if used, have no headers for rows or columns. Incomplete table captions or summaries.
67% Data tables have some semantics linking cells to headers in rows and columns. Navigation with a screen reader possible with effort. Table captions and summaries are provided.
100% Tables have correct semantics for headers and present data in the correct order. They can be easily navigated with a screen reader. Table captions and summaries are provided.


The results of this test are taken into account when calculating accessibility scores for the following disability.


The following technique may come in handy when running this test.


This test aims to provide coverage of the following sections of best practice.

Document Section Heading
WCAG 2.0 1.3 Create content that can be presented in different ways… More Info
WCAG 2.0 3.2 Make Web pages appear and operate in predictable ways. More Info