Basic Principles #
The following is a list of some basic principles of creating accessible Excel files:
- Do not use color alone to convey meaning and make sure all font/graphics have proper contrast.
- Perform a spellcheck.
- Provide descriptive titles for your tables and worksheets.
- Mark row and column headers for your tables.
- Avoid using blank cells, rows, and columns in your spreadsheet for formatting.
- Make your links descriptive.
- Set the print area.
- Delete unused formulas, cells, or worksheets.
- Fill out the document properties (if you are publishing this.
- Provide clear instructions for tables, formulas, or any calculations the student is required to do in the spreadsheet.
In addition, there are other guidelines to follow:
Worksheet Names #
Worksheet Names are important in terms of accessibility, you should ensure each worksheet has a unique name and/or title. If two or more worksheets have the same name for example, screen reader users will be confused as to which sheet they are on.
In addition it is suggested to have it where your Worksheet Names clearly indicate what the purpose of the Worksheet is.
Organize Your Spreadsheet #
It is important to ensure your spreadsheet is clean and orderly, so make sure it has a simple structure. This means you will have to remove any blank cells, rows or columns that are used for spacing/formatting. And this also means you need to delete any unnecessary or unused formulas in your spreadsheet.Another trick that is helpful is to use Styles in your spreadsheet.
Check out Microsoft’s Support page on how to Apply, Create, or Remove a Cell Style, for instructions.
In addition it may be helpful to:
- Use clear and specific language to describe charts and graphs.
- Highlight important cells in data sets to aid users with cognitive disabilities.
- Provide descriptions of charts and graphs in the comment area.
Again these are general principles that can be helpful.
Print Area #
Another important thing to do for all students is to ensure the print area is set correctly. The print area when defined will allow students to print the spreadsheet without worrying about , in addition it assists screen reader users as well.
To set the print area:
- Highlight the entire area of the table and/or content of the spreadsheet you want printable including titles and other information.
- Select the Page Layout tab from the Ribbon (aka main menu).
- Click on the Page Setup group, then select Print Area, and Set Print Area.
Video Overview #
The following videos from the Texas Governor’s Committee on Persons with Disabilities, provide an in-depth overview on how to create accessible worksheets and forms in Excel:
Accessible Excel Spreadsheets #
Creating Accessible Excel Spreadsheets (Part 1) © 2016 TXGCPD https://www.youtube.com/embed/L53zUySUgL4?rel=0 Creating Accessible Excel Spreadsheets (Part 2) © 2016 TXGCPD https://www.youtube.com/embed/SGQyT4j2V4E?rel=0
Accessible Excel Forms #
Creating Accessible Excel Forms (Part 1) © 2016 TXGCPD https://www.youtube.com/embed/71EuSZwCtVE?rel=0 Creating Accessible Excel Forms (Part 2) © 2016 TXGCPD https://www.youtube.com/embed/VMQPeUqB258?rel=0
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