Design Accessible Reports Using RTF Templates

This section describes the following techniques for designing reports using RTF templates.

Avoid Nested Tables or Separated Tables

Avoid using nested tables in a report. For a complex report, try breaking down complex tables into several simple, straightforward tables.

The following figure shows a simple table.

The following figure shows an example of a nested table: A table is inserted inside a table-cell.


These are examples of table structures that Publisher does and doesn't support for accessibility.

Nested Tables

Publisher doesn't support accessibility when nested tables are used in a report.

In the following illustration, Publisher can't tell to which column data "C1R1data" belongs.

Remove the nested table as shown in the following illustration.

Table Headers Must Not Be Separated from the Table Body

To ensure accessibility, table headers must be part of the table they belong to.

The example shown in the following illustration isn't supported because the header, table body and accessibility fields exist in three different tables.

These three tables should be joined into one to support accessibility, as shown in the following illustration.

Define a Document Title

You can define a document title. The procedure differs slightly depending on the version of Microsoft Word.

To define a document title in Microsoft Word 2007:
  1. Click Office and click Prepare.
  2. Click Properties and define the title.

Define Alternative Text for an Image

You can define alternative text for an image in the template.

To define alternative text for an image:
  1. Right-click the image.
  2. On the menu, click Format Picture.
  3. On the Alt Text tab, enter alt: followed by the alternative text and end with a semicolon.
    For example,
    alt:flower picture;

Define a Table Summary

Add a table summary to a table by inserting this command.

<?table-summary: 'My Table Test '?>

in the first column and first row position of the table.

Define a Table Column Header

You can define a table column header. The procedure differs slightly depending on the version of Microsoft Word.

To define a table column header:
  1. Select the heading row or rows. The selection must include the first row of the table.
  2. On the Design tab, in the Table Style Options group, select Header Row.
  3. Right-click the table and select Table Properties.
  4. In the Table Properties dialog, click the Row tab and then select Repeat as Header row at the top of each page.

Define a Table Row Header

To define multiple row headers, use the Publisher command.


Example Usage:

<?acc-row-header:'1,2,4'?>  ==> column 1, 2 and 4 will be row-headers. 
<?acc-row-header:'1,4'?>  ==> column 1 and 4 will be row-headers. 

In the following figure, the code behind the ACC field is:

ACC Field=<?table-summary:'My Table Test '?><?acc-row-header:'1,2'?>

which defines the first two columns as row headers.

Convert Charts to Tables

Charts and gauges aren't readable by the visually impaired. In order to make report output accessible for visually impaired users, create a table or cross tab that summarizes the data in the table.

The following figure shows the summarized data in the table. Avoid providing a large table of detail data that isn't summarized appropriately.