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Digital Accessibility

Tables in Word

Make sure the tables in your Word documents have clear table headers and are used to present data—not to establish a visual layout.

How to Create Accessible Tables in Word

In general, it is a best practice to keep your tables simple, but this is especially true in Microsoft Word. Stick to a single Header Row for your tables and avoid nesting tables or merging cells. If you have complex data that is best formatted as a table, try breaking that data up into smaller, simpler tables. 

To create tables with a Header Row in Word, you can:

  1. Select Insert tab > Table > Insert Table.
  2. Check the Header Row checkbox within the Table Design tab options.
  3. Select the Repeat Header Rows button within the Layout tab options. If your table spans multiple pages, this option will display your Header Row at the top of each additional page.  
    Screenshot of Repeat Header Rows option circled within the Data section of the table Layout tab.
  4. Style your Header Row so that it is visually distinguishable from the cells of data (e.g., with bold text and a different color background).

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