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Access by Design: A Guide to Universal Usability for Web Designers by Sarah Horton

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Chapter 5. Data Tables

Tables are an html structure designed to present information in tabular format. Table markup has several components and attributes that can be used to identify the elements in a standard data table: column headings, row headings, caption, and content summary. When these elements are used properly, a data table can be understood by both visual and nonvisual users.

However, tables are often pressed into service for other purposes, including page layout, alignment, and spacing. Invisible tables (<table border="0">) are commonly used to create multicolumn layouts that display consistently across browsers. When table markup is misused in this way, documents become less machine-readable. Software cannot read a document accurately ...

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