If your authoring tool allows, use inbuilt heading styles, and identify row and column headers in tables, so they can be read correctly by a screen reader.

How do I comply?

  • Use inbuilt heading styles if these are available in your authoring tool.
  • Identify column and row headers in a table if this functionality is available in your authoring tool.


  • If you know how to make a Word document accessible, you will know how important it is to use Word’s in built styles e.g. for heading styles, and tables.  This is because it allows assistive technology such as screen readers to recognise these elements and read them out correctly.
  • A screen reader will identify and read out which heading style has been applied to a heading (usually H1 – H6). This is so that it is easier for a blind or low vision learner using a screen reader to understand the structure of the resource. Screen reader users can also navigate through your resource by jumping from header to header.
  • A screen reader will also be able to recognise that it is reading data structured in a table if you identify the table row and column headers.

eLaHub examples

1. Use in built heading styles

CourseArc header styles. Header style 3 to 6  are available, since 1 and 2 are already used in the automatic page structure and so can not be selected.

Apply header styles

Lectora Header styles from Heading 1 through to Heading 6.

Apply header styles

2. Identify table headers

CourseArc table options with an option to mark a cell as a Header cell.

Identify header rows

Lectora table options. In the file ribbon there is an option to mark the top row of a table as the Header Row.

Identify header rows

How can I test?

  • Check that you have chosen header styles and identified table column and row headers, if this functionality is available in your authoring tool.
  • You can also use a screen reader to check that it recognises headers and tables correctly.
  • Some tools, e.g. Lectora, have an accessibility checker if you select the Use Web Accessibility Settings option for your title. The accessibility checker will identify any tables in your title and ask you to verify that they have the proper row and column headers.

Further information

Screen Readers
There are many screen readers available. These are our preferred options for testing:

WCAG information

Guideline1.3 – Adaptable
Create content that can be presented in different ways (for example simpler layout) without losing information or structure.
WCAG link
1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A)
WCAG textInformation, structure, and relationships conveyed through presentation can be programmatically determined or are available in text.

Copyright © 2019 W3C ®

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