How to check accessibility of an Excel workbook

Do you check accessibility of your Excel workbooks?

Creating workbooks that allow people of all ability access and read requires a little planning and thought. But, if you create workbooks with accessibility in mind, people with vision impairments will be able to understand easier.

When it comes to making a workbook accessible, there are many standards and best practice articles available online.

Some example would include:

· Using table format with specific column headers.  That way screen readers will be able to keep track of their locations.

· Don’t merge cells as screen readers are unable to count the cells which could place the content out of context.

· Use alternative text with images. These allow users to gain valuable information that one would get from viewing the image.

Over the last few years, Microsoft has improved many features of Excel.  this includes an easy to use accessibility checker. This will make recommendations about your document. And suggest fixes!

How you check accessibility of an Excel worksheet

Check accessibility is available on the Review Ribbon.

check accessibility in excel

When you run Check Accessibility on a document, it will return a list of Errors and Warning on your worksheet.

accessibility checker in excel

When you select an error or warning, you will get additional information about warning or error at the bottom of the pane.  This additional information provides details on why you need to fix it.  And you also get the steps on how to fix the issue.   

You can quickly fix these issues with the Recommended Actions. These become available when you click the drop-down on the issue.

recommended fixes for accessibility in excel

If you select the box Keep accessibility checker running as I work the as you create the document, Excel will work in the background checking the document.  Under the sheet tabs, you will find the accessibility status. When it finds an issue with accessibility, this status will read Investigate.

excel accessibility

By clicking the status, the accessibility Checker pane will open on the right of your screen.  From there you can make any required.

Learn and Earn – check accessibility

Use the comments section below to earn rewards on this article.  share a tip not shown above that will help ensure your worksheet is accessible.

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