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MICROSOFT WORD 2010
508 ACCESSIBILITY CHECKLIST

Icon depicting a table with missing alt text

Missing alt text (Table)

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Requirements for 508 compliance

Use a summary or a caption when displaying data tables.


How to test

Watch video (1:39 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

Check to see if a caption or alternate text summary has been added to data tables


To determine whether Alternate Text has been applied to a Data Table

  • Run the accessibility checker: "Missing Alt Text: Tables"
    Note: This test only works when the Table style is set to 'Table Grid'.

To determine whether a caption has been applied to a Data Table

  • On the References Tab, in the Captions Group, Select Cross-reference
  • The Cross-reference Dialog Box appears
  • If tables have proper cross-references then the tables will show in this dialog box.

Note: This requirement is for either a caption or an alternate text summary, but having both a caption and a summary is more accessible.


How to fix

Watch video (2:16 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

To add an alternate text description to a data table

  • Place the cursor anywhere in the table
  • On the Table Tools Tab, in the Layout Sub-Tab, in the Table Group, Select Properties

    Selecting the Properties button from the Ribbon

    Selecting the Properties button from the Ribbon

  • The Table Properties Dialog Box appears
  • In the Alt Text Tab of the Table Properties Dialog Box, insert text in the Description field. The text should orient a non-sighted user on the table's design and content.

    Adding description text to the Alt Text Tab of the Talbe Properties Dialog box.

    Note: The Title field is not necessary for accessibility. It can be left blank.

To add a caption to a data table

  • Place the cursor anywhere in the table
  • On the References Tab, in the Captions Group, Select Insert Caption

    Selecting the Insert Caption from the Ribbon

    Selecting the Insert Caption from the Ribbon

  • The Caption Dialog Box appears

    The caption is written into the Caption Dialog box
  • Enter a descriptive caption in the Caption field. The caption description should ideally make sense when spoken in isolation. This makes it easy for screen reader users to access and use a list of tables.

    Note: Once a caption has been added to a table, it can be programmatically cross-referenced from elsewhere in the document. Cross-referencing ensures that table numbers are correct even when new tables are added, or tables deleted. Cross-referencing also makes it easier for people with low or no vision to navigate the document. To add a cross reference to a data table:

  • Place the cursor where the cross-reference is to go in the text of the document
  • On the References Tab, in the Captions Group, Select Cross-reference

    Selecting the Cross-reference button from the Ribbon

    Selecting the Cross-reference button from the Ribbon

  • The Cross-reference Dialog Box appears
  • Select the desired cross-reference options

    The available tables are listed and the cross-reference options are selected
  • The cross-reference becomes a selectable, navigable item in the document's text

    After the cross-reference is set, a section of text reads "for x,y,z, see Table 1). The word Table 1 is highlighted and selectable as a link that will jump the reader directly to the start of Table 1

Examples

Use a summary or a caption when displaying data tables.

Correct:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


A graphic showing how to set table properties in Microsoft Word

Incorrect:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


A graphic showing a table in Microsoft Word with no description
Rationale

Use a summary or a caption when displaying data tables.

Sighted users can quickly scan tables to understand their purpose, but many assistive technology users navigate with the keyboard. These users need a table summary or caption to describe the purpose of a table.

Legal References

508 references:

1194.22(a); 1194.31(a); 1194.31(b).

WCAG references:

No WCAG coverage.

All Microsoft Word Requirements


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