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Is there a way to make a "table header" a column instead of a row?

Jun 24, 2013 1:57 PM

Tags: #pdf #indesign_cs5.5 #tables #ada #508 #column_header

I am making a 508 compliant pdf from a predesigned indesign document that has many tables in it. The table that I am having problems with doesn't have it's table header as a Row at the top of the table but instead a Column that runs down the left side like this example:

Screen Shot 2013-06-24 at 4.53.50 PM.png

To be read correctly in the pdf by screen readers the header needs to be included in the table but I don't know how to make a column a header, I have only found the option of making a row a header. Is there a way to do this or will I just have to retag and reorder the tags in the pdf after?



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2013 2:22 PM   in reply to slapbet

    It's called a header because it occurs at the top... not to sound condescending or anything.


    A columns as a header wouldn't make sense.


    You can make a table have Cell Style that is just for the First Column - not sure if it's the same thing.


    To do this check out Cell and Table Styles 0-941BA773A47Ea.html

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2013 2:43 PM   in reply to slapbet

    I don't follow any of what your issues are? It's not something I encounter everyday.


    Perhaps consult the PDF forums


    Not sure who else could help you?

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2013 2:55 PM   in reply to slapbet

    I know I could change the order and name of the table in the Tagging Tree inside of the interactive pdf I make, but that means I would have to do this every time there is a change. This is, obviously, not a safe method either.


    My experience of trying to get 508 compliance & ease of screen-reader usage together with, ah, creative layouts like this one, is that this is what you have to do (change the reading order Every Single Time). Anything else is going to be a worse hack - i.e. one method is to anchor an image with rasterized text for your client's preferred side head, plus a real header-row with the type set at 0.1 points set to have no color so it's invisible to us, but gets read by the screen reader.


    I hope you're billing by the hour!

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 24, 2013 11:31 PM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    @Joel – ah, now I begin to understand.

    Slapbet wants to change the reading order in a two column table from:




    1  2

    3  4

    5  6




    1  4

    2  5

    3  6


    If so, you need two separate tables:
    One for column 1, one for column 2.


    Grouped together, anchored in a text frame with the flowing text.


    Could the every column is a single table construct work for you?
    Or is it necessary for what ever reason (besides editing) to work with a single table?


    A script could help to split every  column to a single table, making a group and anchor it to the text flow.

    Or did I misunderstand what the problem here is?



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