Tutorial: Indicating Table Headers in Word (Page 1 of 6)

Contents

  1. What’s in a Table Header?
  2. Specify table headers in Word 2010
  3. Specify table headers in Word 2007
  4. Specify table headers in Word 2003
  5. Results
  6. Feedback

What’s in a Table Header?

Headers help readers understand how tables are organized into columns and rows. While many authors try to indicate a header row by changing its appearance (e.g., font and background color), a change of this type provides little or no information about the structure of the table. A document that relies entirely on visual formatting will, when converted to HTML or PDF, lack the structural information needed by readers who use assistive technology.

Fortunately, Word offers a setting for table headers that provides this important structural information. This brief tutorial shows you how to set this table header property.

Specify table headers in Word 2010

(The following instructions apply to Word 2010 documents saved in the .docx file format. Note that Word changes behavior when editing documents saved in the older .doc format—see Word 2003 below.)

To assign “heading” status to a table row in Microsoft Word 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Click inside any cell in the first row of the table (actually, Word allows you to select multiple rows as headers, so long as the first row of the table is included in the selection).
  2. On the Ribbon, locate the Table Tools tab group (Figure 1a) and click on the Layout tab (Figure 1b).
  3. Make sure the “Repeat Header Rows” option is selected (Figure 1c).
Figure 1

Figure 1:  Specifying a Table Heading Row

Click inside any cell in the row that contains the column labels. On the Ribbon, locate the Table Tools tab group and click on the Layout tab. Make sure “Repeat Header Rows” is selected.

Specify table headers in Word 2007

(The following instructions apply to Word 2007 documents saved in the .docx file format, which debuted with that version of Office. Note that Word changes behavior when editing documents saved in the older .doc format—see Word 2003 below.)

To specify a table heading row, follow these steps:

  1. Select the table row that contains the column labels (the selection must include the first row of the table).
  2. Right Click on this row, or press the Context Key and select "Table Properties..." (Figure 2).
  3. Select the "Row" tab of the Table Properties dialog (Figure 3-a).
  4. Select the checkbox, "Repeat as header row at the top of each page" (Figure 3-b).
Figure 2

Figure 2:  Specifying a Table Heading Row

Select the row containing the column headings, then choose Table Properties... from the context menu.

Figure 3

Figure 3:  Specifying a Table Heading Row

From the "Row" tab, select the checkbox, "Repeat as header row at the top of each page."

Specify table headers in Word 2003

The following instructions apply to Word 2003 documents, as well as Word 2010 and 2007 documents saved in the "Word 97-2003 Document" or .doc file format (also called Compatibility Mode).

To specify a table heading row, follow these steps:

  1. Select the table row that contains the column labels (the selection must include the first row of the table).
  2. With the row selected, choose Table > Heading Rows Repeat (Figure 4).
Figure 4

Figure 4:  Specifying a Table Heading Row

Select the row containing the column headings, then choose Table > Heading Rows Repeat.

Results

The “Repeat Header Rows” (Word 2010) or “Table Rows Repeat” (Word 2007 and 2003) settings were designed primarily to assist with the printing of long tables that span multiple pages. Once applied, the selected rows appear as headings on each printed page. They can also be viewed on-screen in Print Layout View.

But table headings created using Table Rows Repeat will also transfer to other document formats, such as HTML and PDF. Once converted, table heading rows will be tagged for accessibility.

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Indicating Table Headers in Word
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