[Athen] [EXTERNAL] Re: Marking Table Headers in Word

Sean Keegan skeegan at ccctechcenter.org
Fri Sep 20 14:58:57 PDT 2019

Hi Heather,

Can you share the MS Word document?

I just ran a quick test with a simple data table using MS Word 365 and
Acrobat Pro DC. Word is version 1908 and Acrobat DC is 19.012.20040. I
tested two similar tables with the following parameters:

1) Header Rows checkbox selected + First Row checkbox selected

2) With Header Rows and First Row checkbox selected and Repeat As Header
Row at the Top of Each Page checkbox selected.

For MS Word, the Accessibility Checker is showing no errors for the data

When converting to PDF (via Adobe Acrobat plugin), I now get the <TH>
elements on the correct table cells (the column headers and the first row
headers). This happens for both situation #1 and #2 listed above; in other
words, no real difference in the PDF tagging.

Using a previous version of MS Word (not 365), I know I received a
difference in the PDF output when I did NOT check the Repeat as Header Row
at the Top of Each Page option. However, is using the latest MS Word 365
and Adobe Acrobat DC to create the PDF, then you will get the correct <TH>
elements in both situation #1 and #2.

Sounds like there is now discrepancy between MS Word 2019 and 365 if every
single table cell is receiving the <TH> element if checking both Header
options. Super fun...

Take care,

On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 12:16 PM Heather Mariger <
heather.mariger at chemeketa.edu> wrote:

> Greetings,


> Regarding table headings in Word - I found an odd issue with converting

> tables to PDF from Word. We just converted to Office 2019.


> When I create a table, I check the Header Row box and the Repeat Header

> Rows (as I was taught - and have subsequently taught to faculty). However,

> whenever I convert the document to a PDF, it labels EVERY cell as a Table

> Header. I tried multiple iterations and found that checking Header Row

> ONLY, it will label the table headers and data rows correctly.


> Has anyone else had this issue? Is the Word Document still

> properly formatted if I tell them to only check the Header Row box?


> Thanks,

> H.


> *Heather Mariger*

> *Digital Accessibility Advocate*


> *Center for Academic Innovation*

> *Chemeketa Community College*

> *4000 Lancaster Drive NE - 9/126A*

> *Salem, OR 97305*


> 503.589.7832


> *****************

> *Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to

> dance. *

> Verna Myers, author and speaker





> On Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 8:52 AM Sean Keegan <skeegan at ccctechcenter.org>

> wrote:


>> > 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

>> https://support.office.com/en-us/article/video-create-accessible-tables-in-word-cb464015-59dc-46a0-ac01-6217c62210e5).

>> 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 scenes.


>> Take care,

>> Sean



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