MS Excel Chapter 10: Navigation

How can I make navigation in Microsoft Excel easier for all users?


Section 10.1: Using Comments

Comments can be very helpful for providing useful information. They are easily accessible and easy to find. The cells marked with a red triangle have comments anchored to them.

A table of the longest flights in the world with the cell for distance in miles for Qatar Airways has a red triangle.
A table of the longest flights in the world. A comment has been added to a cell saying this is a comment.

Section 10.2: How to Add a Comment

  1. Click the cell you want to place a comment on.

  2. Right click the cell and click “Add a Comment”.

  3. Type in your comment.

  4. To delete your comment, right click the cell your comment is attached to. In the dropdown menu, click delete comment.

Section 10.3: Frozen Rows and Columns

Frozen rows and columns should be avoided whenever possible. Making a row or column always visible while scrolling can be accomplished through freezing panes. While this feature can be helpful to sighted users, it should be avoided when creating an accessible workbook as it can cause navigation issues for screen reader users. Users should also be alerted of any frozen rows.

A table of the longest flights in the world with multiple rows hidden. There are indicators or warnings that they are hidden.

This worksheet only has frozen rows and there is no alert.

This worksheet shows all rows and columns. This is an accessible table.

Section 10.4: Using Data Filters

If data filters are used, the user must be alerted in the Excel Document. Data filters can be applied to display information within specific parameters, which can be helpful especially if you ware using lots of data. JAWS announces the data filter drop-down controls, but NVDA cannot doe this.

This data filter does not have an alert.

Section 10.5: Table Names

The names of Cells in Excel make it easier to understand the purpose of the cell. It also helps with navigating the workbook.