Excel Accessibility: Introduction, Language & Spell Check

Excel Icon from Wikimedia Commons

Over the last few months, we’ve examined some accessibility best practices in Word, PowerPoint and Adobe Acrobat. Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore some basics in Excel, including:

  • Page Layout Ribbon Tab
  • General Principles, especially for screen readers
  • Tables
  • Illustrations & Charts
  • Links
  • Page Layout & Viewing Options
  • Accessibility Checker & STEM Content
  • Acrobat Ribbon Tab & Adobe Acrobat Professional

These best practices for accessibility are really best practices for worksheet creation in general. Besides accessibility, these steps offer greater ease in search-ability, navigation, conversion to other formats, editing, etc. These guides don’t begin to cover all features of Excel 2016, but they will provide information on some commonly used elements.

These directions use screenshots from MS Office 2016, but the steps will basically be the same for Excel 2013. If you need to convert your worksheet to PDF, you will need Acrobat Professional DC installed on your office computer.


The Language should be set to English by default, but you can change it if needed. This benefits everyone because the language is used for spelling checks.

Go to File > Options > Language > Choose English (unless your workbook needs to be in another language.)


Spell Check

Excel doesn’t automatically check spelling, but you are still able to run a spell check. Spelling is located in the Review tab. Go to Review > Proofing > Spelling.

Excel 2016 Review tab highlighting Spelling

Join us next week as we look at the Page Layout Ribbon Tab!


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