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Day 15: Create Accessible Excel Spreadsheets

Welcome to Week 3 of the #ABD21DayChallenge, where skills learned the last 14 days start to come together.

Today we are tackling how to make spreadsheets more accessible. In Microsoft Excel, headers and unique tab names are critical for screen reader navigation to help users of screen readers track their location within a spreadsheet. Follow these steps to add headers and unique tab names to your Excel spreadsheets.

Adding Headers to an Existing Table:

  1. Navigate to a cell within a block of cells previously defined as a table.
  2. Go to the “Table Style Options” group.
  3. Ensure the “Header Row” check box is checked.
  4. Input the heading name for each column within the table headers.

Adding Headers to a New Table, follow these steps:

  1. Define your table by highlighting the cells you wish to include.
  2. Navigate to the insert tab.
  3. Choose “Table.”
  4. The “Create Table” dialogue box will open.
  5. Activate the check box, “My Table Has Headers.”
  6. Select the OK button.
  7. Excel creates generic header names such as Column 1, Column 2, etc.
  8. Replace these generic names with distinct ones.

Renaming Your Sheet Tab:

  1. Move to a sheet tab at the bottom of the screen.
  2. Right-click on the tab name.
  3. Choose “Rename.”
  4. Input a concise but unique name, clearly distinguishing this sheet tab from others.
  5. Choose the “Enter” button.

Note: Remember to use the Microsoft Accessibility Checker to find other accessibility issues within your spreadsheet.

Let us know what you learned today by posting on social media with #ABD21DayChallenge and #AccessibleByDesign.