MS Excel Chapter 5: Tables

How do I create accessible tables in Microsoft Excel?

 Instructions

Section 5.1: Table Formats

When creating a table in Microsoft Excel, you always want to be sure that your table has a clean format. A clean format shows the data is organized, easy to read, and easy to understand.

  1. To create a standard table format, highlight the rows and columns you want formatted into a table.

    A spreadsheet with cells A1 to C4 highlighted
  2. Go to the Insert Tab and click the Table Button.

    Insert button in Excel
    Table button in Microsoft Excel
  3. In the Create Table Box, click “My Table has Headers”, then click OK. Your standard table will be created. You can expand it or shrink it as much as you want. Also, you can write out the text in each cell then format it as a table by doing the same steps.

Rules for Accessible Tables

When creating any table, remember the following rules for making a table accessible for all users.

Rule 1: Every single table should have a clear title.

This table has no title. Anyone who reads this table will want to know that the table is about. While the data will help give hints, it simply is not enough. Always include a title.

A title is included above the table. All readers will now know what the table and data is about.

Rule 2: There should only be one table per worksheet

This spreadsheet has two tables. This is unnecessary, and one of these tables has to be moved to another spreadsheet. Seeing two tables would confuse the screen readers in how to give the information to the readers.

Rule 3: If multiple tables are placed in the same worksheet, there should only be one row of separation.

Rule 4: All tables must have headers, and must have meaningful names

Rule 5: Each table can only have one header row and/or one header column

Rule 6: Complex tables must be broken down into simple tables

Rule 7: Table headers and the data itself must not be separated by blank rows or columns

Rule 8: No merged cells. Instead, write the same data in multiple cells.

Rule 9: If conditional formatting is used, the same information must be available to read in text format.