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Web Accessibility

Quick tips that everyone can use to make their websites and pages more accessible.

Accessible Tables

The web is not an ideal location for tables due to the unpredictability of the size of the screen that a person uses. Tables should be simple (only a few columns), have a header row, and include a summary or caption describing the purpose of the table. Avoid using tables for layout, unless the information can be understood logically when structured in a grid. Assistive devices read out the rows and columns which could add unnecessary complexity for content that is not tabular by nature.

DO: DON'T:
  • Use tables to display tabular data where it's important to show relationships between rows and columns.
  • Provide a header row - this is important context for an assistive device to know what row or column it's looking at
  • Include content in all table cells. Use "not applicable" or "none" for an empty cell.
  • Keep tables simple - no more than four or five columns. It's common for tables to get cut-off on smaller screens like smartphones.
  • Use tables for layout purposes.
  • Create complex tables. Link to an external spreadsheet for complex datasets, or think of an alternate means to present the information.

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