WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Accessible Excel files -- two questions


From: Dona Patrick
Date: Mar 30, 2017 2:50PM

I am supposed to make two Excel files accessible and explain to the client
what they need to do to make this easier. These files are going to be used
as templates so must remain in Excel format. I know the basics, but have
conflicting answers for a question and I have another question.

The files have several tables. The first tab has a table that can be given
alt text and has header cells set (this table has headers). The other
tables cannot be given alt text and header cells cannot be designated. My
assumption is (and I am not at all comfortable with Excel as it is) that
the tables that cannot be given alt text and the header cells cannot be
designated are not true tables, but the first table is. I think that what I
need to suggest is that they highlight the content that is a table, select
the checkbox that says "my table has headers" and that will make it a true

Am I anywhere near correct about this? Someone I asked at work suggested
that tables in an Excel spreadsheet are always tables.

My second question is less accessibility related and more just an Excel

When I do make the tables true tables and say the tables have headers (if
that is the right thing to do) the tables end up with a header row with
icons for sorting. Is there any way to get rid of those icons?

I hope I was clear.

Thank you for any help and let me know if I can be more clear.