Use TalkBack to do basic tasks in Excel for Android

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

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 create workbooks and spreadsheets, apply number format, create simple formulas, and more.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Android screen reader, TalkBack. To learn more about using TalkBack, go to Android accessibility.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with an Android phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for an Android tablet.

In this topic

Create a new workbook

Excel files are called workbooks. Each workbook contains sheets, typically called spreadsheets or worksheets. You can add as many sheets as you want to a workbook, or you can create new workbooks to keep your data organized.

  1. In Excel, to create a new workbook, swipe right until you hear “New,” and then double-tap the screen.

  2. To open a blank workbook, swipe right until you hear the name of the workbook template you want to use, and then double-tap the screen.

    Tip: If you want to go back after reaching the end of the list, swipe left until you hear the name of the correct workbook template.

  3. To select the template, double-tap the screen.

Create a new worksheet in the workbook

In a workbook, drag your finger around the bottom left of the screen until you hear “Add sheet button,” and then double-tap the screen.

Enter your data

As you enter data in the sheet, you work with rows, columns, and cells. Cells are referenced by their location in the row and column on the sheet, so cell A1 is in the first row of column A. On a new sheet, cell A1 is the default selection.

  1. On the worksheet, drag your finger around the screen to find the cell you want to work on, and then double-tap the screen to activate it.

  2. To open the function switch, double-tap the screen. You hear “Cut button,” which is the first item on the pop up bar.

  3. Swipe right until you hear “Edit button,” and then double-tap the screen. You hear “Showing English US keyboard” (the language of your keyboard depends on your keyboard settings).

  4. To type the numbers or text that you want, drag your finger over the keyboard to hear the characters and lift your finger to select.

  5. Drag your finger around the top right corner of the screen until you hear “Enter button,” and then double-tap the screen to save the data.

Apply a number format

You can display different types of numbers by applying a format to a cell such as currency, percentage, or date.

  1. In your Excel document, drag your finger around the screen to find the cell you want to work on, and then double-tap the screen to select the cell you want to format.

  2. Swipe left or right with one finger until you hear: “More Options button. Double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Tab menu, Home selected. Double-tap to activate.”

  3. Swipe right until you hear: “Number format menu. Double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Number format.”

  4. Swipe right until you hear the available formats, such as Currency, Time and Percentage.

  5. To select a format, double-tap the screen.

    Tip: Some of the format options have also submenus. You hear, for example: “Number menu.” To open the submenu, double-tap the screen.

Create a simple formula

You can create simple formulas to add, subtract, multiply, or divide your numbers.

  1. Drag your finger around the screen to select the cell you want to work on, and then double-tap the screen to activate it.

  2. Double-tap the screen to open the function switch. You hear “Cut button,” which is the first item on the function switch.

  3. Swipe right until you hear “Edit button,” and then double-tap. You hear: “Showing English US keyboard” (the language of your keyboard depends on your keyboard settings).

  4. In the cell, to create a formula, type a combination of numbers and calculation operators by dragging your finger over the keyboard and lift your finger at the one you need. Enter, for example, the plus sign (+) for addition, the minus sign (-) for subtraction, the asterisk (*) for multiplication, or the forward slash (/) for division. For example, enter =2+4, =4-2, =2*4, or =4/2.

  5. Type the numbers or text that you want, then drag your finger over the keyboard at the bottom right corner until you hear “Enter,” and then lift your finger. Excel runs the calculation and shows the result in the cell.

Save your work

Excel automatically saves your work, but you can change the name of the file and select the location of the file.

Save a copy of your file

  1. In an Excel file, to change the name of your file, swipe right until you hear “File button,” and then double-tap the screen to open the file menu. You hear: “File menu opened.”

  2. Swipe right until you hear the menu item “Save as button,” and then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Enter file name.”

  3. To change the file name, swipe right until you hear “Enter file name. Edit box (and the default name),” then swipe right until you hear “Clear button,” and then double-tap the screen to clear the current name of the file.

  4. Swipe left until you hear “Enter file name. Edit box,” and then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Showing English US keyboard” (the language of your keyboard depends on your keyboard settings).

  5. To type the name you want, drag your finger over the keyboard to hear the characters and lift your finger to select.

  6. When you have typed the new name, swipe right until you hear “Save button,” and then double-tap to save the file.

Select the location of your file

  1. In an Excel file, to change the location of your file, swipe left or right until you hear “File button,” and then double-tap the screen to open the file menu. You hear: “File menu opened.”

  2. Swipe right until you hear the menu item “Save as button,” and then double-tap the screen. You hear “Enter file name.”

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear: “Places.” Swipe right to hear the locations where to save your file, such as OneDrive and This device. Double-tap the screen to select a location.

    Tip: Some options may have a submenu. Double-tap to select a location, and double-tap again to select the sub menu.

  4. Swipe right until you hear “Save button,” and then double-tap to save the file in the selected location.

    Tip: If you are trying to save a file with a name that already exists, you hear “Replace file?” Swipe right until you hear “Cancel button” or “Replace button,” depending on what you want to do. Double-tap the screen to confirm your choice.

Print your work

Make sure you have a printer connected to your device.

  1. In an Excel file, swipe right until you hear “File button,” and then double-tap the screen to open the file menu. You hear: “File menu opened.”

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

  3. You hear: “Print. Getting file ready to print. Press Cancel to stop. File menu closed. Print spooler.” Print preview opens.

    Note: You might also hear: “Allow Excel to use an online service from Microsoft to prepare files for printing?” 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.

  4. Swipe right until you hear “Drop down list. Select a printer. Double-tap to change,” and then double-tap the screen.

  5. Swipe right to find the printer you want, and double-tap the screen to activate.

  6. Swipe right until you hear “Print button,” and double-tap the screen.

See also

Use an external keyboard with 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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