Definition PDF Conversion I Information to Set for this Table Type I Table Settings

Definition

This table type makes it possible to specify the structure of arbitrarily complex tables where the link between headers and data cells cannot be automatically deduced from the layout of the table using simple rules.

For example, the following table shows the price of apples and oranges in North America and Europe from 2002 to 2006. The data cells in the rows under North America (rows 3 to 8 from the top) have as their header the first and second rows from the top. The data cells in the rows under Europe (rows 10 to 15 from the top) have as their headers the first and ninth rows from the top. While the bottom row (row 16) which shows the overall average has the top row as its header. Such tables can only be supported by specifying Linked Headers which directly link a header cell with an associated data cell at any location within the table.

Picture showing a Word document containing a complex table where the relationship between headers and data cells does not follow simple rules.

Note: Linked headers (as well as other types of headers) are not supported in Word but are supported in the PDF format. You can define linked headers in CommonLook Office which will be propagated to the PDF document once it is generated.

PDF Conversion

When this table is converted to PDF, CommonLook Office will tag the column and row headers correctly, including any defined linked headers. This will allow screen readers and other assistive technology devices to read and process the structure of the table.

Information to Set for this Table Type

Generate Speak Text When checked, this option generates an alternative textual description for each of the table’s cells. This option provides support for the most basic types of linear screen readers which may not support table header structures.

Table Settings

Clicking on the Edit Cells button in the CommonLook Office panel opens a window which provides tools to edit the properties of the cells and to define linked headers.

Picture showing the Settings window which provides functionality to edit the properties of the cells and to define linked headers.

Cell Types

By default, all cells are defined as Data Cells, meaning that they contain data as opposed to header information. You only need to modify the cells that you wish to define as Header Cells. To do so, select the cells you wish to set as headers and right mouse click to display a popup menu. Select the option to Set as Header and to specify the header type (column, row or row and column).

Tip: You can select multiple cells using shift-click for contiguous multi-select or control-click is for non-contiguous multi-select.

Tip: If you make a mistake, you can revert a cell type back to Data by selecting the Set as Data option.

Excluded Cells

In some cases, cells are mistakenly embedded into a table. For example, table captions may be inserted as the top or bottom row in a table. To exclude such cells from the table, select the cells you wish to exclude and right mouse click to display a popup menu. Select the option to Exclude from Table.

Linked Headers

Linked headers provide a powerful tool to link headers with data cells no matter where they exist within the table.

Picture showing the Settings window which provides functionality to edit the properties of the cells and to define linked headers.

To associate data cells with a header using the linked headers facility:

  1. From within the (g&h) Data Table Checkpoint, for the appropriate table, choose “Other” for the Table Type.
  2. Click the “Edit Cells” button.
  3. In the Cell Properties Tab, Assign the cell type (header) to the appropriate cells.
  4. Assign the Scope.
  5. In the Table Settings window, Click on the Linked Headers.
  6. Select the “Assign Headers” radio button.
  7. Select the header cell from the left pane. CommonLook Office will mark it as H-1.
  8. Select the data cell to be linked to the header cell from the right pane.
  9. Click on the assign headers button.

Tip: If there is more than a single header cell to be linked to a data cell, select the header cells in  the correct sequence before selecting the data cell.

Note: Assigning a linked header cell removes any previous header information from the data cell.

Tip: If you make a mistake, click on the Reset button and start over. Note that this will reset all defined linked headers for all cells.

To view the linked header cells associated with a given data cell:

  1. Click on the Linked Headers tab in the Settings window.
  2. Select the “View Headers” radio button.
  3. Select the data cell from the right pane. CommonLook Office will highlight all linked header cells that are associated with it.