Get started using TalkBack with Excel for Android

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This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Excel for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to open Excel and sign in to your account using your phone or tablet.

Notes: 

In this topic

Open Excel for Android

  1. On your Android device’s home screen, drag your finger around the screen until your hear “Apps,” and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe down with two fingers to get to the end of the alphabetically sorted app list, then drag your finger around the screen until you hear: “Excel.” Double-tap the screen to open the app.

When you start Excel for the first time, you may need to sign in to your Microsoft account. To learn how to do that, see Sign in to your Microsoft account with Excel.

Tip: If you have turned on “Ok Google” voice detection in the Google app, you can simply say “Ok Google, open Excel.”

Tip: If you did not sign out of the Excel app the last time you used it, the app opens without prompting you to sign in.

Work with the TalkBack screen reader

Excel for Android works with the built-in screen reader TalkBack. When Android TalkBack is on, you hear a spoken description of whatever you touch, select, or activate on your device. This includes commands, locations, alt text, and the contents of Excel screens, menus, and pop-up windows.

Turn TalkBack on

You may need a sighted person’s assistance to turn on TalkBack.

  1. On your Android device’s home screen, tap Apps > Settings > Accessibility > TalkBack.

  2. Tap the toggle to the On position, and tap OK.

  3. To return to the home screen, tap the Home button, then double-tap the screen.

Navigate with TalkBack by using gestures

When TalkBack is on, you can drag your finger along the screen to find commands, locations, and content. TalkBack announces the icons, buttons, and other items as you drag your finger over them. You can also swipe right or left to move to the next or previous item on the screen. To select or activate the current command or other screen elements, double-tap the screen. To scroll up, down, left, or right, use two fingers to swipe in that direction.

Set TalkBack preferences

Get to know the full list of shortcut gestures you can use when TalkBack is on, along with many other options for customizing how your device works with TalkBack.

  1. On your device’s home screen, drag your finger along the bottom of the screen until you hear “Apps, double-tap to activate,” and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe up with two fingers to get to the end of the alphabetically sorted app list, and then drag your finger around the screen until you hear: “Settings.” Double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear “Accessibility,” and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear “TalkBack, On.” It is usually the first command in the Accessibility menu. Double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear “Settings,” and double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe up with two fingers to scroll roughly halfway down the list. TalkBack tells you where you are when you stop swiping. Swipe right until you hear: “Manage gestures.” It is usually in the second half of the list. Double-tap the screen.

  7. Swipe right to explore the list of available gestures. TalkBack announces each gesture, followed by what it does. To return to the TalkBack Settings menu, drag your finger along the screen until you hear “Back button,” and then double-tap the screen.

  8. Explore some of the other available options on the Settings menu:

    • Speech volume

    • Use pitch changes

    • Keyboard echo

    • Shake to start continuous reading

    • Speak usage hints

    • Vibration feedback

    • Sound feedback

    • Explore by touch

    • Show Context Menu as list

    • TalkBack suspend and resume shortcut

  9. To turn an option with a toggle on or off, double-tap the screen. You know the option has a toggle if TalkBack says “On switch” or “Off switch” after describing the option.

  10. To get more information about an option that does not have a toggle, double-tap the screen.

Tip: If you turn on TalkBack suspend and resume shortcut, you can press and hold both Volume up and Volume down keys to silence TalkBack until you need it again, for example, if a sighted person uses your device for a while. When you hear “Suspend TalkBack,” swipe right until you hear “OK button,” and then double-tap the screen.

Turn TalkBack off

  1. To return to the home screen from any view or menu, drag your finger along the bottom of the screen until you hear “Home button,” and then double-tap the screen.

  2. On your device’s home screen, drag your finger along the bottom of the screen until you hear “Apps, double-tap to activate,” and then double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe up with two fingers to get to the end of the alphabetically sorted app list, and then drag your finger around the screen until you hear: “Settings.” Double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear “Accessibility,” and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right until you hear “TalkBack, On,” and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Swipe right until you hear “On switch,” and then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Stop TalkBack?”

  7. Swipe right until you hear “OK button,” and then double-tap the screen.

For more information, refer to Get started on Android with TalkBack.

Work with other accessibility features

To make your work with your Android device more accessible, in addition to turning on TalkBack, you can set up other features on the Accessibility screen.

  1. On your device’s home screen, drag your finger along the bottom of the screen until you hear “Apps, double-tap to activate,” and then double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe up with two fingers to get to the end of the alphabetically sorted app list, and then drag your finger around the screen until you hear: “Settings.” Double-tap the screen.

  3. Swipe right until you hear “Accessibility,” and then double-tap the screen.

  4. Move down the screen to the System area until you hear “Accessibility,” and double-tap.

  5. In the Accessibility menu, swipe right until you hear: “System, heading.” Here are some of the available options:

    • Captions adds captions to the bottom center of all images. You can change the text size and caption style.

    • Magnification gestures enables the feature so you can zoom in and out of a view with certain gestures. Swipe right past the toggle to hear an explanation of the gestures.

    • Font size lets you increase all text on your device to a larger point size.

    • Display size lets you increase the size of the elements in your file.

    • Speak passwords lets you speak your passwords rather than type them.

Sign in to your Microsoft account with Excel

After you sign in to Excel, your account is also available in other Office apps.

  1. After opening Excel for the first time, wait until you hear “Get things done on the go.” Swipe right until you hear “Sign in button,” and then double-tap the screen.

  2. You hear: “Allow Excel to access your contacts?” Swipe right until you hear “Allow button” or “Deny button,” depending on what you want to do. Double-tap the screen to confirm your choice.

  3. Wait until you hear “Type your email address or phone number,” and then double-tap the screen. Type your email address, swipe right until you hear “Next, link,” then double-tap the screen.

  4. Swipe right until you hear “Microsoft account” or “Work account,” depending on what kind of account you’re using with Word. TalkBack reads you a description of both account types. Double-tap the screen to confirm your choice.

  5. Wait until you hear: “Edit box, password.” Double-tap the screen, then type the password you want to use. Swipe right until you hear “Sign in button,” and then double-tap the screen.

  6. Wait until you hear “You’re all set,” and then swipe right until you hear: “Start using Excel.” Double-tap the screen to finish adding your account.

See also

Use an external keyboard with Excel for Android

Use TalkBack to do basic tasks in Excel for Android

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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