Whenever you create an Excel spreadsheet for any purpose (i.e. course content, class assignment, data summaries), get in the habit of running it through the Accessibility Checker built right into the tool. Not only should this become a habit, but it is something you can share with your students who may be using Excel for class assignments. Remember it is everyone’s responsibility to make our online content accessible for all users. Students who learn these practices can take these skills into their future workplaces to help build a culture where all content is accessible.

Common best practices for making Excel spreadsheets accessible is well documented by Microsoft’s Office Support. Everything from explaining why, along with the most recent updates is available. This site includes a table of key best practices for creating Excel spreadsheets that are accessible to people with disabilities. Little tasks such as adding an alt text to: images, SmartArt graphics, shapes, tables and PivotCharts is important and can make a difference.

Make your Excel spreadsheets accessible

The accessibility checker inspects your document and reports back errors found, warnings and tips. In the screenshot below you can see where to find the accessibility checker in versions of Excel where the Check Accessibility button is not on the Review tab on the Ribbon. Here you have to first go to the Info page and Inspect Workbook.

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