Creating Accessible Tables (Word)

Posted: June 7, 2020 at 7:51 pm, Last Updated: June 7, 2020 at 9:57 pm

Tables can be difficult for individuals who use assistive technology to read, especially those using screen readers. Whenever possible, use simple tables (i.e., one row for column headers and one column for row headers). Following the steps below to identify the header rows in tables for MS Office 365.

  • Select the Insert tab.
  • Click on Table.
  • Choose the table size.

  • Enter all table data.
  • Click in any of the cells to open the Table Design and Table Layout tabs.

  • Click on the Table Design tab. In the Table Style Options, check the box for Header Row (column headers) and First Row (row headers), if applicable.


  • Click on the Table Layout tab. Then, click Alt Text. Although not required, Alt Text allows you to provide an alternative description of the table. This is beneficial for complex tables, which may prove difficult for screen reader users to navigate even when it is accessible.

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