Add alt text to a table

  1. For tables, click Table Properties (this is found by selecting the table, then Right click to reveal the menu, then select Table Properities).
    Image below: Table Properties for PC Users 
    Table Properties in Microsoft Word 2010 for PC
    Image below: Table Properties for Mac Users 
    Table Properties for Mac Word 2011
  2. Click the tab for Alt Text.
    Image below: Table Properties Alt Text for PC Users
    Table Alt Text in Microsoft Word 2010 for PC
    Image below: Table Properties Alt Text for Mac Users
    Table Alt Text in Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac
  3. Enter a description of the table Description text box. Leave the title field blank. TIP: Use clear, but concise descriptions. For example, “a red Ferrari” tells the reader more about the image than “a car.”
  4. Click Close.

Specify column header rows in tables

In addition to adding alt text that describes the table, having clear column headings can help provide context and assist navigation of the table’s contents.

To specify a header row in a table, do the following:

  1. Click anywhere in the table.
  2. On the Table Tools Design tab, in the Table Style Options group, select the Header Row check box.
  3. Add your header information.

Data tables and accessibility issues

Source: WebAim

There is no way to assign table headers or <th> elements to a table created in Word. You can indicate that a row should Repeat as header on the top of each page; in the Table Properties menu. When saved as PDF, the cells in the first row are detected as table headers, though the headers are not maintained if the file is saved as HTML. Instead, the cells will all be contained in a <thead> element. The <thead>, <tfoot>, and <tbody> are used to divide the tables into the three main parts of a data table. While the inclusion of the <thead> element poses no problems, it does not replace the need for the <th> elements for all table headers. There is no way to add row headers (headers across the side of a table) in Word.