On this page: Insert a table | Remove items from a table | Merge tables

You’ve opened a page in either Verify and Remediate or Logical Structure Editor modes. You’ve noticed in the Physical View that a table is present on the PDF page but for whatever reason no table tags are present.

You’ll need to insert a table tag and organize the contents.

Insert a Table

Insert table dialog showing a table of 4 columns and 2 rows. The process in CommonLook PDF may be familiar; it’s similar to creating a table in MS Word. Adding a table structure in CommonLook PDF can be done in one of the following ways:

  • From the Insert menu, click Table. Set the number of columns and rows.
  • Click Add Table in the toolbar. Use your cursor to highlight the number of cells to determine the row and column count.

Either method will create the table, table row, and table cell tags needed to set up the basic grid of the table.

If you start by selecting all the text runs for your table before using the Insert Table menu option, CommonLook PDF will ask if you want to add the selected elements to the table. While placement may not be perfect, this usually saves time in terms of making it easier to select and move text runs between cells to clean up the table.

Information icon. <TD> stands for Table Data cell, as distinct from <TH>, Table Header cells.

To pre-load your table tags:

  1. Select the items that need to be moved into the table.
  2. From the Insert menu, choose Table.
  3. CommonLook PDF will ask if the selected elements should be moved into the new tag. Choose OK.
  4. A new <TABLE> tag will be created and the desired <TR> and <TD> tags will be created with text runs added.

Next, select the text runs and move them into their respective table cells.

Before we get to remediating the new table we first have to exclude elements that don’t contribute.

Removing items from a table

The first step is to take information out of a table that’s not part of the tabular data such as a title or caption.

Tip icon. If your content isn’t really tabular data, don’t be afraid to change the structure to list, or even paragraph tags. It’s critical to use table tags only when appropriate. 

To remove a single cell from the table, simply select the text runs and use one of the techniques from chapter 2 for creating a new paragraph or heading tag. Make sure your selection tool is set to exact mode and drag the new tag out of the table.

A table is sometimes used in authoring applications such as MS Word to position text and graphics on the page. These cases are referred to as presentation tables. In these situations, all the information should be tagged as paragraphs. CommonLook PDF has a feature to quickly accomplish convert table tags to paragraphs.

Table menu. Make sure the presentation table is selected. From the Table menu, click Linearize Table. If it is unavailable, the table is not selected.

The Linearize Table function takes each cell and places it into an individual paragraph tag. The paragraph tags are placed in the reading order of the table. The cell in the upper left hand corner becomes the first paragraph. The cell to the immediate right becomes the next paragraph, and so on through the end of the row, and onto the next row. Using Linearize Table does not change the physical view.

The table below is an example of a presentation table – in other words, a table structure has been used to create the appearance of columns. The Linearize Table option would be an ideal way of eliminating the table tags in this case.

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created  equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live.

Merging tables

There will be occasions where a single table is split between two or more table tags in the logical view. The tables need to be merged to resolve this situation. Select both tables. From the Table Menu, click Merge Tables. Note: it helps to have the tables next to one another and select them in the order they appear in the physical view. The table cells could be placed out of order in the logical view otherwise.

Tables menu, merge tables option highlighted.

If Merge Tables is not available, check to make sure that tables are selected.

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