JAWS Lesson 8: Tables

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Time for Tables

What is a table?

What is a table in terms of our computer? Well, sometimes your computer may be sitting on a table, or a desk, but there are also tables you will interact with on your computer. You will interact with tables in documents, on websites, and in different applications like the calendar.

Tables are made up of columns, which are vertical (up and down) representations of information, and rows (left to right) representations of information.

Real World Example: Think of a movie theater. The audience sits in rows, or lines of seats that stretch from the left to the right side of the room. Now, let's think about the front row, behind each seat in this 1st row there is another audience member, and another behind them, and another behind them, until you reach the back of the theater. These are our columns.

What information is in a table?

Great question! On the internet, tables may display the hours of operation for a business, the prices of various products, or the times of different events.


Tables are like grids, or graph paper. They are constructed of individual cells that make up rows and columns. The top row of the table will contain all of the names of each column. You read this top row left to right to identify how many columns are in the table, and what information you will find in the cells as you navigate down each column.

JAWS and Tables

To navigate to the next table using JAWS, you will press the t key. To navigate to the previous table, you will press shift + t.

Once the focus has been placed on the table, there are two ways to read the information.

The first way is to hold down the alt and control buttons while pressing either the right, left, up, or down arrow. You will continue to hold down control and alt as you navigate the table.

If you press the up arrow while holding alt and control you will navigate to the cell directly above your current location.

If you press the right arrow while holding alt and control, you will navigate to the cell directly to the right of your current location. The same pattern holds true for holding the down and left arrows.

The second method does not require holding down the control and alt keys as you are navigating the table, you can use the layered command, table layer mode.

First, press the JAWS key plus the space bar. You will here a click. Next, press the t key for table. JAWS will announce that you have entered table layer mode. If you are not in a table and try to enter table layer mode, JAWS will announce "not in a table."

Practice with Tables

There are 3 tables on this page. Navigate to each table and explore the contents by using one of the above-mentioned strategies.

The answer to the quiz question at the end of this lesson will be found in one of these tables.

Table 1: Weather Forecast in Fremont

Day Weather
Monday Cloudy, high of 57 degrees, 40% chance of rain
Tuesday Cloudy, high of 60 degrees
Wednesday Mostly sunny, high of 62 degrees
Thursday Thunder storm, high of 52 degrees
Friday Cloudy, 85% chance of rain, high of 50 degrees

Table 2: Class Favorite Foods

Name Age Favorite food
George 11 Chicken Strips
Hannah 10 Spaghetti
April 11 Pizza
Kate 9 Grilled Cheese
Michelle 12 Chicken Dumplings
David 11 Tortilla Soup

Table 3: Math Grades

Name Test 1 Test 2 Test 3
George 75% 85% 69%
Hannah 67% 92% 77%
April 81% 88% 79%
Kate 94% 82% 90%
Michelle 77% 88% 79%
David 81% 80% 82%


Who received the highest grade on test 2?