Creating tables that are accessible to everyone can be challenging. Most people can recognize large and complex tables quickly. However, the same cannot be said for the visually impaired or for software applications.

PDFs may contain tables, but there is usually no way to know how they were constructed. A glance through column headings and rows in a table allows people to recognize the order and meaning of the table. For example, a person may recognize that only a few cells are relevant to the entire table. Meanwhile, creating tables with an application poses challenges regarding orientation, the number of columns, the rows, and the proper cell order when trying to convey their overall meaning.

A table in a PDF may be created by placing text in specific places and adding graphic lines. Therefore, it may look like a table to the user but it is not possible to extract it from a database. A table may also exist as an image in the file.

In this section, GlobalVision describes how to best create proper tables in applications so that they are properly recognized by the programs in question and understood by users.