[Athen] Marking Table Headers in Word

Sean Keegan skeegan at ccctechcenter.org
Fri Sep 20 08:50:43 PDT 2019

> My question is whether it is best to use one method

> over the other, or should we use both?

In working with Word 365 recently, I found that it's best to do both - that
is, mark the Header Row option in the Table Design Ribbon and mark the
Repeat Header Rows. The Word Accessibility Checker was throwing the error
if you did not check the Header Row option and if you were converting to
PDF, then the Repeat Header Rows needed to be checked as well if you wanted
those cells to be recognized as <TH> elements.

Microsoft has a video for Creating Accessible Tables in Word (see
The best part is that the "Try It!" section identifies how to create a
table with headers using the Header Row option in the Table Styles Options
group. The video, however, demonstrates how to go into the Table Properties
and in the Row tab, to check the "Repeat as header row at the top of each
page" option. So much for consistency.

To Karen's point, you never know how the document may be changed. Further,
with both MS Word and Acrobat now moving to a more continuous release cycle
for the apps, you never know when the vendors will make changes behind the

Take care,
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