Revised July 2013
Tables pose a special challenge for screen readers because they present textual or
numerical data to be easily referenced visually. Content within table cells can be complex
and might contain lists, paragraphs, form fields, or another table. The TouchUp Reading
Order Table Editor automatically analyzes the selected table into cells and applies the
The table must be tagged as a table before you can use the Table Editor command. For
best results, use the application that you created the document with to add tags before you
create the PDF. If a PDF isn’t tagged, you can add tags by using the Add Tags To
Document command. Most tables are properly recognized using this command; however,
the command may not recognize a table that lacks clear borders, headings, columns, and
rows. Use the TouchUp Reading Order tool to determine if the table has been properly
recognized and to correct recognition problems. To add specialized formatting to tables
and table cells, use the Tags tab.
You can use the Table Editor to automatically analyze a table into its components and
apply the appropriate tags, but you may still need to check and correct some of these tags
manually. By viewing table tags, you can determine whether columns, rows, and cells
have been correctly identified. Tables that lack well-defined borders and rules are often
tagged incorrectly or contain adjacent page elements. You can correct poorly tagged
tables by selecting and redefining them, and you can split combined cells by creating a
tag for each cell. To do this:
Select the TouchUp Reading Order tool, and then click Show Tables and
If the table isn’t clearly labeled in the document pane, drag to select the entire
table, and then click Table in the dialog box.
Click Show Table Cells to make sure that all cells in the table are defined as
individual elements. If cells don’t appear as separate elements, do one of the
If one or more cells are merged, use the TouchUp Reading Order tool to
select the area within a single cell, and then click Cell in the dialog box.
Repeat for each merged cell.
If cells aren’t highlighted, the table might not use standard table
formatting. Re-create the table in the authoring application.
Table headings. Table headers are not always properly defined after the conversion from
Word to PDF. Use the TouchUp Reading Order Table Editor to change table data cells
that should be table headings to table headers or change the table data tags directly into
table header tags within the tags panel.