The <caption> element should not contain the same text as the summary attribute

Rule ID: table-duplicate-name
User Impact: Minor
WCAG: Best Practice

Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact

Disabilities Affected

  • Blind
  • Deafblind


  • Best Practice

WCAG Success Criteria

  • Not specified, or not applicable

Section 508 Guidelines

  • Not specified, or not applicable

Rule Description

Data table markup can be tedious and confusing. Make sure the caption and summary table attributes are not identical. Screen readers have some features to manage table navigation, but tables must be marked up accurately for these features to work correctly.

Why it Matters

Screen readers have a specific way of announcing tables. When tables are not properly marked up, this creates the opportunity for confusing or inaccurate screen reader output.

When tables have summary and caption text that is identical, screen reader users can be confused and find it difficult to know the name and purpose of the table.

How to Fix the Problem

This Rule checks for tables that have identical summary and caption text. To fix the problem, ensure that the content of the summary attribute and the <caption> elements are not identical.

To ensure screen reader users can make sense of tabular data:

  • Use the <caption> element for onscreen title.
  • Use the summary attribute—only read by screen readers—to describe the table structure.

The Algorithm (in simple terms)

Checks that data tables that have both a summary and caption have the same text for each.