SCULPT for Accessibility

Table structure

What is an accessible table?

You need to make sure you use a simple table structure with column headers, making sure that the tables don't contain split cells, merged cells, or nested tables.

The Microsoft Office Accessibility Checker (opens in a new window) will list any accessibility issues in your document, including tables.

You can also visually scan your tables to check that they don't have any completely blank rows or columns.

Why do it?

Badly created tables can cause difficulties for screen readers or for those tabbing through information on a web page or a document.

If a table is nested (built within another table) or if a cell is merged or split, the screen reader can’t provide helpful information.

Blank cells in a table could also mislead a screen reader into thinking that there is nothing more in the table.

Screen readers use column header information to identify rows and columns.

How to do it

Here are some instructions to be able to use column headers in tables (opens in a new window).

Instructional video

Video: Create accessible tables in Word

The transcript for this video is available from Microsoft Office create accessible tables (opens in a new window)

More information

For accessible features in other Microsoft products please visit Microsoft accessibility video training (opens in a new window)