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spoken "blanks" in layout tables

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Reply with quote If the JAWS screen reader reads out loads of "blanks " on a Web page using a layout table, is it because it is reading out empty table cells? I have been unable to find any empty table cells in the source code.

Also, is this in any way breaking the W3C guidelines? I suppose the guideline it is most related to is number 5.3:

Do not use tables for layout unless the table makes sense when linearized. Otherwise, if the table does not make sense, provide an alternative equivalent

Please help! Thanks
Reply with quote You don't have a bunch of spacer images with alt="blank" by any chance? That would probably be read out loud in the way you describe.

Tommy has left the building
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Accessible tables? wrote:
If the JAWS screen reader reads out loads of "blanks " on a Web page using a layout table, is it because it is reading out empty table cells? I have been unable to find any empty table cells in the source code.


are you actually using JAWS properly? i don't have it here on this machine, only on my work one - and yay, i'm on holiday - but i do remember that if you're in a certain mode and not issuing the right commands it starts going all "blank" at you...

Patrick H. Lauke / splintered
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Accessible tables? wrote:
If the JAWS screen reader reads out loads of "blanks " on a Web page using a layout table, is it because it is reading out empty table cells? I have been unable to find any empty table cells in the source code.


JAWS will read out "blank" in a number of instances, but it may have nothing to do with layout tables. Depending on whether or not the JAWS Virtual PC Cursor is on or off, it will read the page differently. Can you point us to an example online? otherwise it will be difficult to narrow it down...

Cheers,
feather.
Reply with quote Hi, thanks for your replies. I think I understand it now, I looked to see if the table cells that were being read out in JAWS as "BLANK" were empty, but they all seemed to contain spacer images, and I already knew that the spacer images on this site had the alt text "spacer". But I didn't double check to see that they ALL had "spacer" ALT text and the ones that were reading as "BLANK" had ALT="". Phew, anyway, it makes sense to me. If anyone thinks I've misunderstood it, then please let me know!

(PS, I know "spacer" in the ALT text isn't good!)
Reply with quote PS, I was navigating using the down cursor arrow, rather than just letting it read the whole lot. Is this down cursor arrow refered to as the JAWS virtual pc cursor? (am sure Im asking silly questions)
Reply with quote Dear Accessible Tables?

Yes you are right, "virtual cursor" = "down arrow" - next time, look it up on Google first.

All the Best

Accessible Tables?
Reply with quote without sounding rude or patronising, it's worth spending a lot of time learning the basics of JAWS first, before using it to test pages...as otheriwse you won't get a true feel of how a real JAWS user would experience said pages (and even then, the different verbosity settings also play an important role)

Patrick H. Lauke / splintered
Reply with quote ok

Last edited by Accessible tables? on 23 Aug 2004 11:55 am; edited 1 time in total
Reply with quote Hi Accessible Tables, let me welcome you to the forum on everybodies behalf. Very Happy

Don't be frustrated by any comments left here, they are made with the best possible intention. No-one is judgmental, we all had to start somewhere, God knows I've committed enough boo-boo's in my time. Take comments in their true context, a way to learn, and benefit from it. Cool

To put it another way <misquote> Tiny acorns grow on mighty oaks </misquote> Very Happy

Mike Abbott
Accessible to everyone
Reply with quote still not sure about this one, does anyone know why the JAWS screen reader reads "blank" on the following website for example (i am not involved with this site)
www.artandarchitecture.org.uk ?
The empty table cells (only containing spacer graphics with empty alt text) do not seem to match up entirely with the places where the screen reader says "blank". Your help would be gratefully appreciated!
Reply with quote There are dozens of alt=" " in there. Maybe JAWS reads those as 'blank'. Try alt="" (or better yet, put decorative images in there with CSS).

On the whole, you have leading spaces in virtually all your attribute values. I wouldn't recommend that, although I can't say off the top of my head what the standards have to say about it.

Tommy has left the building
Reply with quote This is exactly what I thought was causing the "blanks". However, when the screen reader gets to the navigation in the blue bar at the top (login, profile, preferences, history, searches, sets, forums), it does not say "blank" for any of the images with empty ALT text that exist between each of these links. (i.e. I would expect it to say something like: "profile blank preferences blank history blank searches blank" and so on)

Its a bit of a mystery, and I can't find any other comments about it on the Accessify Forum or elsewhere on the Internet.
Reply with quote For example, using the following bit of code, and navigating using the down arrow:

<html>
<body>
<table>
<tr><td><img src="me.gif" alt="bla"></td><td><img src="marc" alt="marc"></td><td><img src="me.gif" alt="camel"></td></tr>
</table>
</body>
</html>

The JAWS screen reader reads:

blank bla
blank
graphic marc
blank
graphic camel

Does anyone have any idea what is causing this? The table has no blank table cells and no blank lines.

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