Use a screen reader to create column headers in a table in Excel

Use a screen reader to create column headers in a table in Excel

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 with visual impairments 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 with your keyboard and a screen reader to create descriptive column headers in a table. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques.

When you create a table in an Excel worksheet, Excel automatically adds and displays table headers. Table headers either display their default names (you can change these directly in the worksheet), or you can specify that they display the header data that is in your worksheet. In a long table, table headers replace the worksheet column headings so that they stay visible when you move through the table data. Table headers should not be confused with worksheet column headings or the headers for printed pages.

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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When using Narrator, your keyboard will default to the Standard layout. To change this in the Narrator settings, press the Windows logo key+Ctrl+N. Press the Tab key until you hear: "Select keyboard layout, Standard." To change the layout to Legacy, press the Down arrow key once. You hear: "Legacy, selected." The new Narrator commands will not be available in the Legacy keyboard layout if keystrokes for legacy commands conflict with those used in new Narrator features.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a PC. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a Windows phone or tablet.

Add column headers to a table

  1. Place focus anywhere in the table.

  2. Press Alt+J, O to add column headers.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert a table in an Excel worksheet

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel for Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

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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