Excel Online includes accessibility features that make it easy for users with limited dexterity, low vision, or other disabilities to work with files. This means you can use keyboard shortcuts, a screen reader, or a speech recognition tool to work with Excel Online.
Excel Online is a web-based application, so the keyboard shortcuts and navigation may be different from those in Excel 2016. Learn more about Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online.
To learn how to set accessibility preferences and navigate Office 2016 applications, refer to Accessibility in Office Online.
When you use Excel Online, we recommend that you use Internet Explorer as your browser.
In this article
Explore the Excel Online user interface
The user interface for Excel Online exists within your web browser. Excel Online operates in two views: Reading view and Editing view. The Excel Online window looks slightly different and different commands are available depending on the view you are using.
In Reading view, you can view, print, share, refresh data connections, recalculate your workbook, and comment on the workbook. By default, Excel Online opens in Reading view.
In Reading view, at the top of the Excel Online window, “Excel Online” is listed in the title bar. At the left edge of the title bar is the app launcher, the control that contains tiles that link to Microsoft services and Office Online applications, including Mail, Calendar, OneDrive, Excel, PowerPoint, and more.
Below the title bar is a toolbar that contains a set of commands on the right (Edit Workbook, Print, Share, Data, and more) and, if browser width allows, the name of your workbook in the center.
To switch from Reading view to Editing view, press Ctrl+F6 until you hear "Excel Online". Then press Ctrl+F6 again to move to the name of the folder that contains the workbook. Press Tab to move to the Edit Workbook button, press Enter, and then use the Down Arrow key to select Edit in Excel Online.
In Editing view, you can make changes to your workbook. In this view, at the top of the Excel Online window, the title bar includes the app launcher on the left, the application name (“Excel Online”), a Share button on the right, and, if browser width allows, the name of your workbook in the center.
Below the title bar is a toolbar organized into tabs: File, Home, Insert, Data, Review, View, and Open in Excel. The ribbon sits below this row of tabs. When you select a tab, a tab-specific ribbon appears. Each ribbon includes commands organized in groups. For example, if you select the Insert tab, a ribbon appears. From that ribbon, you can pick different items, such as tables, charts, hyperlinks, or comments, to insert into your workbook.
In both Reading view and Editing view, the active worksheet of the workbook follows the set of commands. The cell grid of the worksheet takes up the majority of the page. Some commands, like the Go To command or the Find command, open a window in the center of the worksheet. Others, like viewing or inserting comments, open a pane to the right or left of the worksheet.
Below the cell grid is a bar that contains a tab for each worksheet in the workbook. You can scroll through this row of tabs to select a worksheet. The currently selected worksheet is referred to as the “active worksheet.”
At the bottom of the Excel Online window is the status bar. When you select a group of cells, the status bar lists the current average, count, and sum of the numbers in the selected cells. You can change what the status bar lists by customizing the way Excel summarizes the data. Tab to the Customize Status Bar menu and press Enter. On the shortcut menu, use the Down Arrow key to select an option (for example, Numerical count, Max, or Min) and press Enter.
For general information about navigating the ribbon, panes, or content, refer to Accessibility in Office Online.
Use a screen reader and keyboard shortcuts
To find information about keyboard shortcuts, see Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online.
To move between the browser address bar and the workbook content in Excel Online, press F6.
To cycle through regions in Excel Online—the ribbon, worksheet, Worksheet Tab bar, and status bar—press Ctrl+F6.
To move to a different worksheet in the workbook, press Ctrl+Alt+PgUp or Ctrl+Alt+PgDn.
To move to a different tab on a toolbar, or among commands on a ribbon, press the Tab key (forward) or Shift+Tab (backward).
To select an item, press Enter. To select a cell, place the focus on it.
To browse within menus or lists, press the Up Arrow key or the Down Arrow key, and then, to make a selection, press Enter.
To move around the cell grid, use the Tab key, the arrow keys, or keyboard shortcuts.
To exit a menu or mode, press Esc.
Excel Online includes accessible names that can be read by screen readers as you work in the application. You can use Narrator, the built-in screen reader in Windows, or a third-party screen reader, such as JAWS.
Change worksheet size and view
To get a close-up view of your worksheet, you can zoom in, or, to see more of the worksheet at a reduced size, you can zoom out.
Note To zoom in Excel Online, you need to use the browser commands.
Zoom in to or out from a worksheet by using the keyboard
To zoom in, press Ctrl+Plus Sign (+) or Alt+V, Z, and then I.
To zoom out, press Ctrl+Minus Sign (-) or Alt+V, Z, and then O.
To select a zoom percentage, press Alt+V, Z. If you are using a screen reader, you hear “Zoom in, Control Plus, I” or “Zoom in, Context menu.” On the Zoom menu, use the Down Arrow key to select the percentage you want and press Enter.
Zoom in to or out from a worksheet by using the mouse
On your browser’s View tab, click Zoom.
On the Zoom menu, click the percentage you want.
Navigate in Excel Online
For a summary of how navigating Excel Online differs from navigating Excel 2016, tips to navigate quickly, tips for using specific screen readers, and links to performing common tasks in Excel Online using a screen reader, refer to Get started using a screen reader in Excel Online.
Explore accessibility features of browsers
For information about the accessibility features of your browser, go to your browser’s website.
Use Tell Me
In Editing view, when you don’t know the keyboard shortcut or when you want to know about more options, use the Tell me what you want to do box.
Optional. Select the text, cell, or other Office object you want to work with.
Press Alt+Q. You hear “Tell me what you want to do.”
Type a keyword or phrase, and then, to browse the search results, press the Down Arrow key. For example, for options related to fonts, such as italics and font size, type font. Some results may be submenus with more choices.
To choose a result, press Enter.
Create accessible documents
For tips about creating accessible workbooks in Excel Online, see Checklist: Create an accessible spreadsheet in 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 have 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 visit the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find the contact details for your region.