Excel 2010 Quick Accessibility Reference
Formatting and Layout
- Control white space with row and column sizing NOT with blank rows or columns
- Give each tab in the workbook a descriptive title
- Begin each worksheet in cell A1
- If the workbook contains more than one worksheet place a worksheet in the first tab position that contains links to all of the worksheets and tables in the workbook to serve as a table of contents for the workbook
- Following the final table on a worksheet add the text "End of worksheet."
- If data entry by the user is required use comments, data validation, dropdown lists, input messages, and error alerts are used to help users enter correct data.
- The print area is set to reduce paper waste and set forms to print correctly.
- Use and input message to place help text is placed in Cell A1. Examples of good help text include the number of tables on the page and/or the row and column numbers of the header an total cells.
- Accept or reject all changes in the review panel before final document distribution
Text, Headings, and Lists
- Text boxes are NOT used
- Recommended fonts are used (Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Tahoma and Helvetica)
- Font size is Arial 12pt
- All worksheets are absent of flickering/flashing text or animated text.
- Tables have a logical reading order from left to right, top to bottom
- Do not use tables with more than one column of row headers or more than two rows of column headers
- Do not use merged cells within the data section of tables
- Begin all tables in a single worksheet in column A.
- Do not have any empty rows or columns within a single table
- Separate each table with a single empty row
- Column and row heading must be in the same column or row as the data they represent
- Use named regions within tables to identify major sections of data
- The name Title is defined in the cell where row and column headers meet in tables having both column and row headers
- The name RowTitle is defined in the cell range containing the row headers if the table only contains row headers
- ColumnTitle is defined in the cell range containing the column headers in the tables containing only column headers
- Use meaningful text in the "text to display" of a link - don use URLs as link text.
- Use the fully qualified URL (i.e. http://www.google.com NOT www.google.com) address of the link
Non-Text Elements (Illustrations & Objects)
- Insert graphs and charts as separate worksheets
- All non-text elements have alternative text descriptions that convey the same information to the user that the image convey
- Images which do not convey information have a carriage return as alternative text
- Complex images are grouped and alt text is added
- Document does NOT use background images or watermarks
- Drawings made with Shapes are imbedded as a PDF file with alt text
- Objects are grouped and have alt text applied to them
- Give meaningful labels to the title, axis and legend of all charts
- Lightly shade input cells so they will stand out to users
- Use high contrasting foreground and background colors
- Prioritize information in text alternative: Try to put the most important information at the beginning.
File Names and Document Properties
- File name does NOT contain spaces and/or special characters.
- File name is concise, generally limited to 20-30 characters, and makes the contents of the file clear.
- Document Properties (i.e. Subject, Author, Title, Keywords, and Language) are filled out.
Excel Best Practices
- When practical, formula cells that affect cells in other worksheets should be indicated with a notation in a cell in order to alert users of the functionality.
- Whenever possible, avoid using two or more data tables on the same worksheet.
Excel Resources and Links:
Microsoft Excel 2010 documents accessible, including accessible data (38minutes) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9QlB3oiwQE
Microsoft Excel 2010 - How to Make an Excel Spreadsheet Accessible, Part 1 & 2 - http://gov.texas.gov/disabilities/accessibledocs