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Table of Contents

\uD83D\uDCD8 Instructions

Section 3.1: Data Flow

When creating text for a table, always try to make it easily readable and have good flow. Have the text go left to right and up and down. Each table has sections to keep in account, the title, headings, and data. The title of the table must always be at the top. Underneath the title is where the headings would go. They describe what the data will represent. The data itself will go inside the table in a cell next to or under the headings.

A spreadsheet with data filling random cells.

This table has a poor layout with each word in a different cell. A screen reader could read this, but it would be very difficult to navigate from word to word.

A table for college attendance by year and grade level.

This table has a good layout with all of the data organized.

Section 3.2: Naming Worksheets

When naming your work sheet, you want to seriously consider the content of the worksheet. Never give it a random, meaningless name, or leave it blank. No one will know or understand what the worksheet is really for until they open it. Come up with a clear and concise name for each worksheet that makes sense.

  1. To rename your worksheet, go down to the sheet tabs at the bottom of the screen.

  2. Double click them, and give them a new name.

Worksheet names with the third sheet named Sheet 3.

Sheet 3 does not tell readers anything about what could be in the sheet. Many readers would skip the sheet and not get any possible information.

Worksheet names with the third worksheet named Data Table 3

These worksheet names tell readers nothing about what the tables could be about.

Spreadsheets with new meaningful names. Expenses, Income, and TotalsImage Modified

While these have short names, Expenses, Income, and Totals explain the purpose of each sheet.

Section 2.3: Deleting Worksheets

To delete your worksheet,

  1. Right click your worksheet tab at the bottom of the screen.

    There are three worksheet labels with the Income Worksheet highlighted in green.
  2. In the pop-up menu click Delete. The spreadsheet is gone.

    Expenses to the left and the highlighted sheet Income to the right.

Section 3.4: Removing and Marking Blanks

When creating a spreadsheet, it is best to avoid blank rows, columns, and cells. Screen readers may think a blank cell is the end of the table or spreadsheets and skip important information. A good way to avoid this is to include information in all necessary cells and to leave a single blank row between tables. A good way to clear unneeded rows and columns is to delete them.

  1. Create two tables.

    Two tables about the population of countries. The top 5 biggest counties are at the top, the top 5 smallest countries are at the bottom. There are multiple lines of separation between the tables.
  2. Click the numbers of the rows you want to delete.

    Rows 8 and 9 are highlighted.
  3. Right click, select delete rows or columns. Now you have a much more organized spreadsheet.

    Two tables on country population with only one row of separation between them.

For tables that have blanks in them, just type in simple words or abbreviations. Examples of these include, N/A, or “No Data.”

Table of the Countries of the World and their exports. There are blank cells for the main exports of Japan, Germany, and Netherlands

This table leaves the main exports of Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands completely blank. If a screen reader were to read this, it would completely skip the blank cells and confuse the reader.

A table of countries and their main exports. No Data is placed in the cell of the nation where data does not exist yet.

This table shows the main exports of Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands have no data. If an item is unknown, N/A, or there is no data, just say so. The screen reader will read no data and the reader can move on to the next section with ease.

Section 3.5: Cell A1

Cell A1 is very important for your projects structure and navigation. Never leave Cell A1 blank. You can use it in multiple ways. Cell A1 can be used as a space for your projects title, or it can be used for providing insight to your project's content. This would be very beneficial for a project with several spreadsheets.

A pie chart of the most popular sports in the USA located in Cell A1.

The pie chart is located in Cell A1 without a description or title or any information on the chart.

A pie chart of the most popular sports in the USA with a long description in Cell A1.

This pie chart is next to Cell A1. Cell A1 has a long description of the pie chart. The screen reader will read the long description and provide the reader the information they need.

Section 3.6: Creating an Excel Index Sheet

Index Sheets are very useful for navigating spreadsheets, this is especially true if you have a project with several sheets. They are very similar to Table of Contents in MS Word, since they allow users to go to a specific area within a document or spreadsheet by clicking a link.

Our example of an Index Sheet will be for budgets. To create an Index sheet,

  1. Create several spreadsheets.

  2. Name the first sheet “Index”, then give appropriate names to the rest of the spreadsheets.

    The Worksheet section of Excel with Worksheets named Index, January, February, and March.
  3. In the Index Spreadsheet, type in the names of your spreadsheets. One name per cell.

    The Index Spreadsheet with the names of each spreadsheet in their own cell.
  4. Right click your first spreadsheet name. In the dropdown menu, click Link. In the Insert Hyperlink box, click “Place in This Document”. Click the name of the spreadsheet you want the link to connect to. It is possible that your Text to Display may have a syntax code in it. Delete it and type in a name that suits your spreadsheet. Click OK.

    Insert Hyperlink box with the text to display as January. Link to is Place in this Document.
  5. Your link is made. Click on it and you will be taken to the spreadsheet it is linked to.

    The Index spreadsheet with January set as a link. The link has blue text and is underlined.The January Expenses worksheet is open.

Section 3.7: Headers and Footers

When creating a header and footer, they must not have any important information. All important information for the readers must be inside the spreadsheet itself. The best place for important warning on a spreadsheet is in cell A1.

A header with important information telling the reader that the spreadsheet is a draft.Image Modified

This header includes very important information. Screen readers might not read this to a student which would cause a lot of confusion when the spreadsheet is changed.

Spreadsheet with a draft warning in Cell A1.

This header does not have anything important inside it. All of the important information is placed in Cell A1. The text will be the first thing the screen reader reads and the reader will be aware the warning.

Section 3.8: Where should my Chart, Graphs, or Tables go when they are done?

Cell A1 should not be blank. Always place text descriptions into Cell A1, then place the chart next to the description.

A pie chart of the most popular sports in the USA with a long description in Cell A1.

Section 3.9: Hidden Rows and Columns

Hidden rows and columns should not be used. Many users struggle to unhide rows and columns. The best way to help all people unhide rows and columns is to use an alert. You can do this by adding a comment to the excel file with instructions.

A table of test scores for five different students. Columns D, E, and F hidden. No warning was given.Image Modified

This table has multiple columns hidden, but there are no instructions telling the reader how to make them visible. This will confuse readers who would want to know why they are hidden and want to know about the data.

A table of test scores for five different students. Cell A1 has a comment that provides instructions to view the hidden columns.

This table has multiple columns hidden. However, a comment is shown giving instructions on how to access the missing data.

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