MS Excel Chapter 1: Text and Fonts

How do I create accessible texts and fonts in Microsoft Excel?


Section 1.1: Fonts

As cool as some fonts look, its best to just use the ones that are easiest to read.

Two tables in Excel showing fonts that are easy to read and hard to read.

Font sizes should never be smaller than size 12.

Section 1.2: Capitalization

Screen readers do not recognize capitalized letters, so there is no point to relying on capital letters to emphasize text.

A list with some names in all caps. Others are typed in normally.

This list shows unnecessary capitalization in letters. Screen readers will not emphasize the text even when it is in all caps.

A list of name with no improper capital letters. The words complete or incomplete are next to their names.

This example shows a new way to show the important content. Screen readers will read the (covered) label and tell the reader that it will be on the test.

Section 1.3: Bold, Italic, and Underlined Text

Screen readers do not recognize bold, italic, or underlined text. They will just read it as if it were normal text. In order to emphasize meaning in the text, you need to create a second way for people to see the text. A good rule of thumb is to use bold text, italics, and underlined text sparingly.

Section 1.4: Strikethrough

When a screen reader reads text with strikethrough like normal text. So when you use strikethrough, be sure to give a second indicator. This will give the screen reader another queue to give the reader.

Section 1.5: Highlighting

When highlighting, it is important to be sure it is not the only way to convey meaning. Screen readers will not recognize the highlighted text as highlighted text. So it will only read it as normal text. This will be confusing to someone with visual problems.

Section 1.6: Text Visibility, and Overflowing Text

All text must be visible in a spreadsheet. Sometimes when we type in a spreadsheet, the words may become invisible when we go to the next cell. To fix that, click the Wrap Text button to reformat the text to fit in the cell.

When you have overflowing text, all you have to do is extend the cell. To extend the cell, double click the line between the cell you are typing in and the one next to it. Excel will automatically expand the cell to make the content fit inside.

Section 1.7: Symbols and Special Characters

You can use many different symbols and special characters. However, they must always be communicated in regular text as well. This must be done so the screen readers will read the symbol properly to the reader. Here is a list of 15 symbols and special characters that are good to use, as well as the text you should use for the screen reader to read off.

  1. The AT Symbol

  2. The Ampersand

  3. The Slash

  4. The Copyright Symbol

  5. The Trademark Symbol

  6. US Dollar

  7. Euro

  8. British Pound

  9. Japanese Yen

  10. Paragraph Symbol

  11. Bullet

  12. Degrees

  13. One Half

  14. One Fourth

  15. Three Fourths