Add summaries for tables with complex layouts to explain how they are structured.
Provide a summary that describes the structure of complex tables. [[WCAG-1.3.1]]
Ensure the summary and caption do not repeat the same text. [[WCAG-1.3.1]]
For tables with complex information or structures, including a description for the user on how to
read the table can greatly assist comprehension. These summaries are beneficial for many different
user needs, not only for users who cannot see the content.
The summary for a table should ideally be placed before users encounter the table. If this is
not possible, ARIA attributes such as aria-details and aria-describedby
can be used to programmatically link the summary to the table. These attributes allow assistive
technologies to provide the summary to the user when they reach the table, despite being positioned
There are many methods for adding summaries. While this page lists some, the HTML specification also
includes a section detailing others. All these methods are valid, so the choice of which to use can
be dictated by the publisher's workflow needs.