Assigning Alternate Text (Summaries) to Tables in Word
Tables, just like images, are a way to visually display information. Although tables typically contain text, the purpose of the table is often not evident from text alone. The organization and display of the table may contain information that is not evident to assistive technologies. However, through the use of table summaries, assistive technologies can convey useful information to users about tables. The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines recommend that you provide summary text for each table in an HTML document. Table alternate text, or table summaries, provide users with information about what type of information the table contains.
You can create accessible tables by typing the table summary into a TableSummary marker. When ePublisher generates content, ePublisher puts the table summary you specify into the table in the summary attribute.
To assign alternate text to tables, your Stationery and template must have the TableSummary marker type configured. Your output format must also support this feature. For more information about output formats that support this feature, see “Features Available in Each Output Format” on page 8.
The following procedure provides an example of how to assign alternate text to tables in Microsoft Word source documents using Microsoft Word 2003. Steps for assigning alternate text to tables in Microsoft Word may be different in other versions of Microsoft Word.
To assign table summaries in a Microsoft Word source document
In your Microsoft Word source document, locate the table to which you want to assign a table summary.
Insert your cursor in front of the table.
On the WebWorks menu, click Markers.
In the Markers field, select TableSummary from the list of markers.
In the Value field, type the alternate text for the table.
Click OK. ePublisher inserts the TableSummary marker into the table.
Insert the marker into the table caption by clicking OK.
Save your Microsoft Word source document.
Generate output for your project. For more information, see “Generating Output” on page 300.
Verify ePublisher assigned the table summary you specified to the table when it generated output by completing the following steps:
On the View menu, click Output Directory.
In the TargetName folder, open the page that has the table to which you assigned a table summary in Notepad, where TargetName is the name of your target.
Verify that the table summary you specified is included in the summary attribute for the table.