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Tables, Charts, and Graphs


Use simple tables in the presentation. A simple table is a table with one column and row header. Complex tables have irregular headers (header cells that span multiple rows or columns), merged cells, multi-level column or row headers, etc. Below is an example of a complex table.

Complex table example

Avoid creating complex tables to help with comprehension.

To add a table to your presentation:

  1. Go to Insert > Table.
  2. Click on the little arrow beside the Table to choose the size of the table by selecting the appropriate number of squares.


  3. Insert the table with the desired number of columns and rows.

Designating the header row or column helps the screen reader users navigate the table. The screen reader will read each cell and its associated header out loud.

However, you cannot designate a header row in the table using Google Docs. You will need to download the Grackle Docs add-on. Grackle Docs is an add-on that runs in Google Docs that scans the document for accessibility issues. Follow the Grackle Docs Installation guide to download and install Grackle Docs for your Google account.

  1. When you perform accessibility testing using Grackle Docs, an issue appears regarding the table - “Tables must be tagged or marked as layout tables.”
    Grackle error example
  2. Click on the issue to expand the window, and click on Locate +TAG button.
  3. A new window allows you to designate a header row or column.
  4. Check Mark first row as a header to designate the first row as a header. If your first column is also a header, check Mark first column as a header. Click the Update button to make the changes. This will mark the first table row as a header.
    Grackle table header

This will mark the first table row as a header.

Charts and Graphs

To create accessible charts and graphs, use the available Google features. Unlike Microsoft, Google Workspace does not have the option to add an automatically generated data table related to the chart. Add alternative text to the chart to convey information to the screen reader users, or you can create a table manually below the chart using the Insert > Table option.

To create a chart or graph:

  1. Go to Insert > Chart.
  2. Click on the Chart and choose the type of chart or graph you want to use.
    Insert chart
  3. The chart or graph will automatically be inserted.
    Chart example
  4. To edit the data within the chart, click on the link icon and choose the Open Source option to open your Google Sheets source data.
    Open source button in charts
  5. Clicking on the open-source button will open Google Sheets in a new browser window where you can edit the information for the chart data.
  6. Once you are done updating the information in Google Sheets, go back to the chart or graph and click on the update button (refresh symbol) to update it.
    Update chart button