Rule: Data cells must have row/column headers

Rule ID Table 1
Conformance Required
Definition Data cells in data tables must have row and/or column header cells or use the headers attribute.
  • For screen reader users to understand the the context or meaning of the content in a data cell, the headings for the cell must be identified
  • When header cells are properly identified, screen reader users can distinguish between header and data table cells.
Conformance Required
WCAG Success Criteria

Success Criterion 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Rule Category Tables/Layout
Rule Scope Element
  • Use a th element as the first cell in each row and/or column to define row and column headers in simple data tables.
  • While not recommended, it is also valid to use td element with a scope attribute as a header cell.
  • Avoid using empty rows and columns for formatting data tables. Use CSS instead.
  • When row and/or column headers are not sufficient to describe a data cell, use the header attribute to identify the appropriate header cells. For example, when a data cell spans more than one column or row the column and row headers.
Information Links