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The NVDA announcement for merge cells #2642

nvaccessAuto opened this issue Sep 4, 2012 · 7 comments

The NVDA announcement for merge cells #2642

nvaccessAuto opened this issue Sep 4, 2012 · 7 comments


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@nvaccessAuto nvaccessAuto commented Sep 4, 2012

Reported by surfer0627 on 2012-09-04 15:47

Hello NVDA developers,
We wish that NVDA provides one way to announce the merge-cell information clearly.

In the application "Office Word 2003, 2010", user creates a table with 5rows and 4columns.


While R1 c1 and r2 c1 are merged.

User press down arrow,

NVDA announced: row3

While R1 c2 and r1 c3 are merged.

User press right arrow,

NVDA announced: column3

expected: column4

While r3 c1 and r4 c1 are merged,
r3 c2 and r4 c2 are merged,
r3 c3 and r4 c3 are merged.
r3 c4 and r4 c4 are merged.

User press down arrow,

NVDA announced: row4

expected: row5

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@leonardder leonardder commented Jul 14, 2017

I think reporting of merged cells, row and column span in html terms, should be dealt with on a broader scope. A fix could be combined with #7278.

@michaelDCurran, would it be an idea to consider this in your table/grid work, similar to #7382?

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@jcsteh jcsteh commented Jul 18, 2017

I think this is a different problem. While #7278 deals with browse mode table navigation not remembering the original position, table navigation actually does support row and column spans; e.g. if a cell spans two columns, navigating to the right skips the column in the middle. The correct coordinates are also reported. In contrast, this issue seems to be suggesting that in Word, the coordinates are reported incorrectly. I haven't verified this yet. If so, from an implementation perspective, this is very much separate from any of the existing work.

P2 to investigate. CC @Qchristensen in case he has time to try it out.

@jcsteh jcsteh added the p2 label Jul 18, 2017
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@Qchristensen Qchristensen commented Jul 18, 2017

Just had a look in Office 2016, and I found that the row is reported correctly, but the column is not.

So in the original case 1, with R1C1 and R2C1 merged, pressing down arrow moves to the original R3C1, and this is announced as "row 3".

In the original Case 2, with R1C1 and R1C2 merged, pressing right arrow moves to the original R1C3, however, NVDA reads "Column 2"

I just checked with Word 2007 and found exactly the same. So I would treat the column announcement with merged columns as a bug. Ideally, it would be great if merged cells were announced the same as they are in Excel (Excel, in this case would announce "A1 through A2" if those two cells were merged). Currently Word only announces the topmost row or leftmost column of merged cells.

@jcsteh jcsteh removed their assignment Sep 5, 2017
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@leonardder leonardder commented Dec 19, 2017

I just started working on this. I only have tested my implementation in an UIA table yet, so not in Word. Will do that probably later this or next week.

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@leonardder leonardder commented Dec 21, 2017

I have ready code for the announcement of merged cells for the web and UIA. It is likely that this will also work for Word whenever UIA support is part of NVDA. However, it somehow seems that we are not able to get the colSpan and rowSpan from Word in a reliable manner. See this, this statement in particular:

Unfortunately, this method does not work if you use ranges
Also, this method does not work on a table cell that has been selected manually with the mouse, and nor does it work if you use Selection.Expand Unit:=wdCell to select the cell. You have to use MyCell.Select.

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@Adriani90 Adriani90 commented Nov 7, 2018

@leonardder, since you were involved in solving this issue, do you have any additional thoughts on it? @michaelDCurran, will MS Word UIA implementation have any effects on getting the proper row anc column span in MS Word?

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@louie-prog louie-prog commented Jul 16, 2021

Hi all. May I share to you my idea or opinion in this issue of NVDA.
I think it would be better to add a feature in NVDA to make it speak whether cells are vertically or horizontally murged? I got this idea from the NVDA's feature in excel, where it announces the cells being murged. Example: " A1 through A4", or "a1 through D1". So, we can now visualize that cells are murged vertically or horizontally.
In word or other platform, it maybe announced as, 'row 1 through row 4' when the cursor lands into a murged rows; or 'column 1 through column 4' when the cursor lands into a murged columns. Just for the user to imagine or visualize of how the screen looks like and how many cells are being murged, whether they are murged horizontally or vertically.
For the sake of the discussion, please allow me to mention other screen reader here. I have tried it with jaws, it behaves well, and their indication is it says, "column now count one" when the cursor lands to a murged column, and "row now count one" when it lands to a murged rows.
The said screen reader go back to its normal announcement of the number of rows and columns when the cursor lands in an unmurged cells.
Thanks and best regards. I am looking forward on this.

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