Use a screen reader to name a cell or data range in Excel

Use a screen reader to name a cell or data range 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 name cells and data ranges in a worksheet. 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. You can define a name for a cell range, function, constant, or table. Screen readers will announce the name of the cell or data range, which makes the information easier to understand.

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.

Name a cell or a data range

  1. Select the cell or range of cells that you want to name.

  2. Press Alt+M, M, D. You hear "New name window," and the focus moves to the Name: field.

  3. Type the cell or data range name.

  4. Press the Tab key until you find the OK button, and then press Enter. The focus returns to the spreadsheet.

See also

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

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

Use Excel for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to name cells and data ranges in a worksheet. You can define a name for a cell range, function, constant, or table. VoiceOver will announce the name of the cell or data range, which makes the information easier to understand.

Notes: 

Name a cell or a data range

  1. In the Excel spreadsheet, select the cell or range of cells that you want to name.

  2. Press F6, until you hear the name of the current tab, followed by "Selected, tab," and then press the Right arrow key until you hear: "Formulas, tab." Press Control+Option+Spacebar to open the Formulas tab.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Define name, menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The Define Name menu opens, and you hear: "Names in workbook, table."

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear “Enter a name for the data range, edit text,” and then type the cell or data range name.

  5. After typing the name press Enter. The Define Name closes and the focus returns to the spreadsheet.

Note: To read the name of the cell or data range, after selecting the cell or data rage, press F6 until you hear the name of the cell or data range, followed by "Contents selected, edit text."

See also

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

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

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

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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