Use VoiceOver in Excel
Connect to a cloud storage service
Connect to a cloud service from the Account icon on the File Open screen. The File Open screen is in focus the first time you open the application. If you have an Excel file open and want to return to the File Open screen, use the Save and Close button in the top left corner of the application.
The Account button brings you to a screen where you can sign into your cloud-connected services. It begins with your current login information, followed by a list of all your Connected Services. You will need to Add a Service to connect your files stored in the cloud. The next screen lists all available services you can connect in this order: OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, and Dropbox. Select the service you’d like to add, and then follow the login instructions. Return to the Account menu, and your new service will be listed under Connected Services when successful.
Connect to SharePoint
Go to the Account icon and log into the app. You have to have a corporate account that is valid for the SharePoint sites that you want to access.
Find the ribbon
Tap the Show Ribbon button, then double-tap the button again to show the ribbon at the bottom of the screen.
Double-tap the Home tab to access more ribbon tabs, then swipe right or left with one finger to shuffle through the available tabs. Double-tap a tab to bring it into focus, then swipe right or left to shuffle through the tools on each tab.
Tap, then double-tap the Hide Ribbon button to hide the ribbon. The Hide Ribbon button is located to the right of the undo/redo buttons at the top of each tab.
Edit a cell
Move focus to the cell you want to edit, double-tap to select the cell, then double-tap to edit the selected cell in the formula bar.
Use the contextual menu
The contextual menu contains a variety of options, including common actions like cut, copy, paste and clear. To open the contextual menu, move focus to a cell, and then double-tap with two fingers to open the contextual menu. You can use standard VoiceOver swiping gestures to move through the menu and then select various options.
The contextual menu will close automatically after performing an action. If you don’t want to use the contextual menu, just select another cell.
Select a range of cells
To select a range, place focus on the cell where you want to start the range selection, and then double-tap and hold. A sound plays to alert you that you are now selecting a range. Keep your finger pressed on the screen and then drag the selection across the grid to start your range selection. VoiceOver announces the selected range as you drag your finger across the grid.
Work with formulas
There are a couple of entry points for functions in Excel. You can press the insert function button next to the formula bar, you can press equals on the keyboard or you can select a function from the Formulas tab in the ribbon. Once you select a function, it will be placed in the formula bar, with touchable tokens that help you place variables in the correct order.
Work with formulas from the formula bar
While editing a cell in the formula bar, tap the Insert function button to the left of the formula bar – it’s the only button to the left of the formula bar. This adds an equal sign to the formula bar and opens a list of all functions, with the most recently used functions at the top.
Work with formulas from the ribbon
Tap, then double-tap the Show Ribbon button. Focus moves to the Home tab.
Double-tap the Home tab, then swipe left or right to move the Formulas tab into focus.
Double-tap the Formulas tab.
Double-tap to select a category to open the list of functions, then swipe to the right anywhere on the screen to hear each function in the category.
After each function, you’ll hear the More Info button, which you can double-tap to learn more about that function.
Double-tap to insert a selected function into the formula bar.
The first argument is selected after you insert a formula. Tap, then double-tap to select the data to use on the grid for that argument, or just type the argument. When you’ve added the argument, swipe down to move forward in the formula bar, or up to move backwards.
Sort and filter
When you move focus to a cell that contains a sort or filter element, VoiceOver will announce it.
To move focus to the filter, swipe to the right while focus is on the cell that contains the filter. To open the filter menu, double-tap while focus is on the filter.
Find and read comments
When you move focus to a cell that has a comment, VoiceOver announces that the cell contains a comment. To hear the comment, swipe to the right. Focus will move to the comment, and VoiceOver will read the comment. There is currently no way to add comments in Excel for iPhone.
Change the size and rotate an object
Tap an object once to highlight it, then double-tap the screen to select the object.
Swipe right to move focus to the selection handles, in the following order: center left, top center, top left, rotate handle. With the focus on a selection handle, you can swipe the focus up or down to increase or decrease the size of the object (or rotate, if using the rotate handle).
Add text to an object
Tap an object once to highlight it, then double-tap the screen to select the object. Next, double-tap the shape while it’s selected to enter text edit mode.
Use the formula keyboard
Excel for iPhone has a custom keyboard that helps you quickly access numbers and symbols associated with formulas. To find it, move focus to the cell you want to edit, double-tap to select the cell, then double-tap to edit the selected cell in the formula bar. Three buttons appear underneath the formula bar in the following order: Formula Keyboard, Cancel, Enter. Double tap the Formula Keyboard button to toggle between the standard iOS keyboard and the custom formula keyboards.
Use an external keyboard in VoiceOver mode
To enter text using an external keyboard when in VoiceOver mode in Excel, you need to turn off iOS Quick Nav.
Turn Quick Nav on or off by pressing both the left and right arrow keys on the external keyboard at the same time while in VoiceOver. When you do this, VoiceOver will announce that Quick Nav is either on or off.
Features that aren't optimized
We’re still working on delivering great accessibility features, and we have more work to do. Here’s a list of things we haven’t yet optimized: Text format announcements in VoiceOver, data validation, sparklines, paste values, and auto-filling a series of data.
Please feel free to leave feedback about what you’d like to have next. Make sure to include the word ‘Accessibility’ in your comments. Thanks!
Give feedback about Excel for iPhone accessibility
We’d love to hear about the things you like and the things that you’d like for us to improve. To send feedback, navigate to the File menu at the top left of the application (second icon from left). Go to the Send Feedback option in that menu, then select the option that applies to your feedback.
After selecting Tell Us What You Like or Tell Us What Can Be Better, there will be two fields: a text field for your feedback and a field for you to provide your email address (optional).
Please include the word ‘Accessibility’ in your feedback so we can find it easily.