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

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

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 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to organize data into a table for faster analysis.

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.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Excel 2016 for Windows.

  • This topic assumes that you are using JAWS. To learn about JAWS for Windows, refer to JAWS for Windows Quick Start Guide.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Complete guide to Narrator.

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

In this topic

Create a table

  1. On a worksheet, select the cells that you want to include in the table. The cells can be empty or can contain data.

  2. Press Ctrl+T (or Ctrl+L). The Create Table dialog box opens and you hear: “Create table dialog.” (In Narrator, you hear “Create table window.”)

  3. Tab to the My table has headers check box.

    Note: Table headers are very important for accessibility. Screen readers use the information in the headers for navigation, and meaningful column headings can help readers understand the data.

    • If the selected range of cells contains data that you want to display as table headers, select the check box.

    • If you want to use the default names Excel provides (for example, Column 1, Column 2, and so on), do not select the check box.

    • To change the default names, select the text in a column header and type the name that you want.

  4. To close the Create Table dialog box and return to the worksheet, tab to the OK button and press Enter.

Keyboard shortcuts for tables

Here is a handy reference for keyboard shortcuts that apply to tables in Excel 2016.

To do this

Press

Create a table in default style

Ctrl+T or Ctrl+L

Format data as a table Insert a row above

Alt+H, T

Insert a row above

Alt+H+I, A

Insert a column to the left

Alt+H+I, L

Delete a row or rows

Alt+H+D, L

Delete a column or columns

Alt+H+D, M

Open the Design tab

F10, J+T

Clear or select table headers

F10, J+T, and then O

Open a context menu

Shift+F10 or Windows Context key

Add a row or column to a table

  1. Select the row above which you want to insert one or more blank rows, or select the column to the left of which you want to insert one or more blank columns.

  2. Press Alt+H+I. The Insert menu opens and you hear “Menu, Insert cells.” (In Narrator, you hear “Excel window, Insert cells.”)

    • To insert a row above the selection, press A.

    • To insert a column to the left of the selection, press L.

Delete a row or column from a table

  1. Select one or more rows or columns that you want to delete.

  2. Press Alt+H+D. The Delete menu opens and you hear “Menu, Delete cells.” (In Narrator, you hear “Delete items, Menu item, Menu.”)

    • To delete selected rows, press L.

    • To delete selected columns, press M.

See also

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Excel keyboard shortcuts and function keys for Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Use Excel for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to organize data into a table for faster analysis.

Notes: 

In this topic

Create a table

When you have a worksheet with some data, it's easy to turn the cells into a table.

  1. In your worksheet, select the cells that you want to include in the table. To select cells, use the arrow keys to navigate to the cell you want to be the top left corner of the table, hold down Shift, and then use the Down and Right arrow keys to select more rows and columns. VoiceOver announces the range of selected cells after each keypress, for example, "A1 to C2, selected."

    Tip: If you want to quickly select all cells that contain data, press Command+A.

  2. Press Command+T. You hear: “Create table, dialog.”

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "My table has headers, checked, check box," and then do one of the following:

    • If the selected range of cells contains data that you want to display as table headers, select the check box. Press Spacebar to select the option if it's unchecked.

    • If you want to use the default names Excel provides (for example, Column 1, Column 2, and so on), do not select the check box. Press Spacebar to clear the option if it's checked.

    Note: Table headers are very important for accessibility. Screen readers use the information in the headers for navigation, and meaningful column headings can help readers understand the data.

  4. To close the Create Table dialog box and return the focus to the worksheet, press the Tab key until you hear "OK, default, button," and press Return.

Add a row or column to a table

  1. In your table, navigate to the row above which you want to insert one or more blank rows, or navigate to the column to the left of which you want to insert one or more blank columns.

  2. Press Fn+F6 until you hear the name of the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, selected, tab." If you are not on the Home tab, press the Left arrow key until you hear "Home, tab," and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the tab.

  3. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear "Insert, menu button," and press Control+Option+Shift+M to open the menu. Do one of the following:

    • To insert a row above the current row, press the Tab key until you hear "Insert Table Rows Above," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • To insert a column to the left of the current column, press the Tab key until you hear "Insert Table Columns to the Left," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

Delete a row or column from a table

  1. In your table, navigate to any cell in the row or column that you want to delete, then press Shift+Spacebar to select the entire row, or Control+Spacebar to select the entire column. VoiceOver announces the selected cells, for example, "A4 to C4, selected."

  2. Press Fn+F6 until you hear the name of the currently selected tab, for example, "Home, selected, tab." If you are not on the Home tab, press the Left arrow key until you hear "Home, tab," and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select the tab.

  3. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear "Delete, menu button," and press Control+Option+Shift+M. Do one of the following:

    • To delete the selected row, press the Tab key until you hear "Delete Table Rows," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • To delete the selected column, press the Tab key until you hear "Delete Table Columns," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

See also

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel for Mac

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessibility features

Use Excel for Android with TalkBack, the built-in Android screen reader, to insert and modify a table in your workbook. Make your tables more accessible by adding titles or highlighting parts of the tables with different colors. You can expand the tables with new rows and columns, or you can show your data as a chart.

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.

  • For touch capabilities in Excel for Android, go to Excel for Android touch guide.

  • 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

Navigate to the tabs menu

To access the options for editing your worksheet, you need to navigate to the tabs menu.

  1. To move away from a selection in a worksheet and to the first item on the screen, first swipe up, then down. You hear the workbook title.

    Tip: If you have the shortcut menu open on top of your worksheet, to move away from the menu, tap anywhere on the screen with two fingers.

  2. Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “More options button.” Then double-tap the screen with one finger. You hear: “Tab menu, Home selected.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Home tab selected.”

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear the tab you want to select, for example: “Insert tab.” Then double-tap the screen. The Insert ribbon opens.

    Note: Table, Picture, Shape, and Chart tabs become available only when the object is selected in the worksheet.

  4. Swipe left or right until you hear the option you want to select, and then double-tap the screen.

Navigate to a table in your worksheet

  1. Swipe left or right with one finger until you hear: “Entering table <table details and location of focus>.”

  2. Swipe left or right with one finger, until you hear the location in the table you want. Then double-tap the screen. The Table tab opens.

    Tip: You can also navigate to the Table tab as instructed in Navigate to the tabs menu.

Insert a table

Add a table to present your data in an effective and systematic way. You can insert a table on a blank worksheet and fill in your data. Alternatively, you can quickly create a table using data in your existing cell cluster.

  1. In your Excel for Android worksheet, swipe left or right until you hear: “Sheet <sheet name>.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear the current focus on the sheet, described in columns and rows.

  2. To move to the cell where you want to insert a table, drag one finger across the screen. You hear the current location. Then double-tap the screen.

    Tip: To expand your selection from a single cell to multiple cells and insert a larger table, place two fingers on the screen and slide them apart to the direction where you want to expand your selection. You hear the selected area from the first cell on the top left to last cell in the bottom right.

  3. Navigate to the Insert tab as instructed in Navigate to the tabs menu.

  4. On the Insert tab, swipe right until you hear: “Table button.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Not checked, Table has headers, checkbox.” If your table has headers, swipe left until you hear: “Not checked, Table has headers, checkbox.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Checked.”

  5. To move away from the checkbox, tap anywhere on the screen with two fingers.

Add an alternative text title to a table

To make your tables in Excel for Android accessible for all readers, you can add a short and descriptive title to the table and even write a more comprehensive text to describe the table in detail.

  1. Navigate to the table in your worksheet as instructed in Navigate to a table in your worksheet. The focus can be anywhere in the table.

  2. In the Table tab, swipe left or right until you hear: “Alt text menu.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Alt text.”

  3. In the Alt Text menu, swipe left or right until you hear: “Edit-box for title.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Showing <keyboard language> keyboard.” Type a short title for your table.

  4. To write a description for your table, swipe left or right until you hear: “Edit-box for description.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Showing <keyboard language> keyboard.”

  5. To return to the active sheet, swipe left or right until you hear: “Sheet <sheet number, sheet details>, selected.” To activate the sheet, double-tap the screen.

Add a row or a column to a table

You can easily expand your table by adding rows above or below, or columns to the left or right of your current selection in a table.

  1. Navigate to the table in your worksheet as instructed in Navigate to a table in your worksheet.

  2. On the Table tab, add rows or columns:

    • To insert a row above the current selection, swipe left or right until you hear: “Insert above button.” Then double-tap the screen

    • To insert a row below the current selection, swipe left or right until you hear: “Insert below button.” Then double-tap the screen.

    • To insert a column to the left of the current selection, swipe left or right until you hear: “Insert left button.” Then double-tap the screen.

    • To insert a column to the right of the current selection, swipe left or right until you hear: “Insert right button.” Then double-tap the screen.

Delete a row or a column from a table

You can quickly delete entire unnecessary rows or columns from your table.

  1. Navigate to the table in your worksheet as instructed in Navigate to a table in your worksheet.

  2. On the Table tab, do one of the following:

    • To delete rows, swipe left or right until you hear: “Delete rows.” Then double-tap the screen.

    • To delete columns, swipe left or right until you hear: “Delete columns.” Then double-tap the screen.

Highlight the data in your table

To highlight the data in your table, you can add color in alternating rows or columns, or highlight only the first or the last column. You can also quickly spice up your tables by adding predefined styles.

  1. Navigate to the table in your worksheet as instructed in Navigate to a table in your worksheet.

  2. In the Table tab, do one of the following for alternate rows or columns:

    • To add color on alternate rows, swipe left or right until you hear: “Banded rows switch, unchecked.” Then double-tap the screen.

    • To add color on alternate columns, swipe left or right until you hear: “Banded columns switch, unchecked.” Then double-tap the screen.

    • To add or change a predefined style to a banded row or column, swipe left or right until you hear: “Table styles menu.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Table styles.” In the list, swipe left or right. You hear a description of the style. To select a style, double-tap the screen.

  3. In the Table tab, do one of the following for the first or the last row:

    • To add color on the first column, swipe left or right until you hear: “First column, unchecked.” Then double-tap the screen.

    • To add color on the last column, swipe left or right until you hear: “Last column, unchecked.” Then double-tap the screen.

    • To add or change a predefined style to the first or last column in the table, swipe left or right until you hear: “Table styles menu.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “Table styles.” In the list, swipe left or right until you hear either “Medium” or “Dark”. In the Medium style list, swipe left or right until you hear: “Light gray, table style medium, eight list item.” This and the following 13 styles can be applied to the first row / last columns. In the Dark style list, swipe left or right until you hear: “Dark gray, table style dark, one list item.” This and the following six styles can be applied to first or last columns. To select an applicable style, double-tap the screen.

Show your data in a chart

You can show the data in your table in chart format.

  1. Navigate to the table in your worksheet as instructed in Navigate to a table in your worksheet.

  2. To select the table cells you want to use for the chart, place two fingers on the screen and slide them apart until you hear the selection you want.

  3. Navigate to the Insert tab as instructed in Navigate to the tabs menu.

  4. In the Insert ribbon, swipe left or right until you hear “Chart menu.” Double-tap the screen. You hear: “Chart.”

  5. In the Chart menu, swipe left or right until you hear the chart type you want to select, for example: “Pie menu.” Double-tap the screen. You hear the name of the selected chart type, for example: “Pie.” The chart type list opens.

  6. In the chart type list, swipe left or right to browse through the list. You hear the list item names, for example: “3D pie, list item.” To select a chart type, double-tap the screen. The chart is generated on the worksheet.

See also

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate in Excel using accessible features

Use Excel Online with your keyboard and a screen reader such as Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to create a table. Tables provide easy filtering, in addition to calculated columns and total rows, which simplify calculations.

Notes: 

  • If you use Narrator with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, you have to turn off scan mode in order to edit documents, spreadsheets, or presentations with Office Online. For more information, refer to Turn off virtual or browse mode in screen readers in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

  • 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.

  • For keyboard shortcuts, go to Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Complete guide to Narrator.

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

  • When you use Excel Online, we recommend that you use Microsoft Edge as your web browser. Because Excel Online runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Excel Online.

  1. In Excel Online, select the cells that you want to include in the table.

  2. Press Ctrl+L to open the Create Table dialog box.

  3. In the Create Table dialog box, press Shift+Tab until you hear: "Unchecked, My table has headers checkbox." Press Spacebar to check or uncheck the My table has headers box, depending on whether you want the top row to be used as the table header.

    Note: Table headers are required to make a table accessible for screen readers. Screen readers use header information to understand how to locate table cells.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "OK, button," and then press Enter.

  5. You can now enter your data. To enter or replace data in a cell, move to the cell you want and type the text, number, or formula.

    Tip: To learn more about adding or editing your data, refer to Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel.

    Tip: Organizing your data in an Excel Online table allows you to easily sort and filter data. To learn how to sort or filter data in a table, refer to Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

See also

Use a screen reader to sort or filter a table in Excel

Use a screen reader to find and replace data in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel Online

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

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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