Make Spreadsheets Accessible Again!

The founding fathers of Multiplan intended that spreadsheets would be for everyone: the rich and the poor, the data analyst and the data scientist, the sighted and the vision impaired. Often, things that we take for granted make a world of difference to others. Take the appropriate steps now to ensure that your work is up to accessibility standards.


Download Workbook


Add It:

  • Navigate to the File menu
  • Select Options
  • Navigate to Quick Access Toolbar
  • Choose Commands from:
    • Commands Not in the Ribbon
  • Select Speak Cells on Enter
    • Add >> (or double click the option)
  • Select OK

Speak Cells On Enter

Enable It:

At the top of your Excel application you will find the quick access toolbar

  • Press the Speak Cells On Enter command to toggle between ON | OFF
    • Whenever you press enter within a cell the Excel application will read the results aloud

Speak Cells On Enter

Check It:

  • Navigate to the File menu
  • Within the Info Section, press the Check For Issues button
  • Select Check Accessibility

Check Accessibility in Excel

Fix It:

  • Within the Inspection Results select any of the Errors or Warnings for Additional Information
  • Within Additional Information perform the How To Fix: steps for each of the Errors and Warnings
    • You may need to scroll down depending upon your display settings.

Accessibility Checker Inspection Results

Get That Check Mark:

No Accessibility Issues Found


“The loss of sight does not impair the qualities of mind and heart.”
Helen Keller

Franklin Delano Roosevelt served four terms as President Of The United States of America. Claude Monet painted his famous Les Nymphéas. Stevie Wonder shaped modern music with over 25 Grammy awards. All three dealt with varying degrees of vision impairment. Perspective is not limited to your visual perception, it’s in the way you experience information and the stories you are able to share. There’s no excuse for your spreadsheets to be any different.

6 thoughts on “Make Spreadsheets Accessible Again!

  1. Nice one Alex,
    Microsoft incorporated TTS for people with disabilities but we can also use it in different way. I use it in sometimes with macros to give use a welcome message while opening a worksheet.

    1. Nothing like a little Application.Speech.Speak “Welcome to the thunder dome ” & Application.UserName to welcome people on workbook open. I felt especially for the auditing and compatibility of workbooks that get distributed we can all stand to do a better job making them more accessible. Especially after searching around I noticed that it wasn’t a space that either Microsoft Office or other Excel bloggers have spent a lot of time highlighting. As always Puneet thanks for the feedback.

    2. That’s a great idea Puneet! Often people don’t know where to start when opening a spreadsheet (i.e. report). Listening to a welcome message and possibly some brief instructions could be quite helpful and fun! Thanks for the post Alex!
      Cheers,
      Kevin Lehrbass

      1. Thanks for the feedback and checking out the site Kevin, I’ve been a big fan of your work and spreadsheet philosophies ever since I saw you on Excel.TV. Always glad to see others in the field striving for the Excel MVP as well.

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