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This topic gives you step-by-step instructions and best practices for making your PowerPoint presentations accessible and unlock your content to everyone, including people with disabilities.
PowerPoint has many features built-in that help people with different abilities to read and author documents. In this topic, you learn, for example, how to work with the Accessibility Checker to tackle accessibility issues while you’re creating your presentation. You’ll also learn how to add alt texts to images so that people using screen readers are able to listen to what the image is all about.
You can also read about how to use slide design, fonts, colors, and styles to maximize the inclusiveness of your slides before you share or present them to your audience. Best practices for making PowerPoint presentations accessible.
Check accessibility while you work. Create accessible slides. Avoid using tables. Add alt text to visuals. Create accessible hyperlink text and add ScreenTips. Use accessible font format and color.
Use captions, subtitles, and alternative audio tracks in videos. Save your presentation in a different format. Test accessibility with a screen reader. The following table includes key best practices for creating PowerPoint presentations that are accessible to people with disabilities. To find missing alternative text, use the Accessibility Checker. Use the Accessibility Checker to find slides that have possible problems with reading order. A screen reader reads the elements of a slide in the order they were added to the slide, which might be very different from the order in which things appear.
Set the reading order of slide contents. Use built-in slide designs for inclusive reading order, colors, and more. To determine whether hyperlink text makes sense as standalone information, visually scan the slides in your presentation.
Tip: You can also add ScreenTips that appear when your cursor hovers over text or images that include a hyperlink. Turn on the Color filter switch, and then select Grayscale. Visually scan each slide in your presentation for instances of color-coding. People who are blind, have low vision, or are colorblind might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors. Use an accessible presentation template. To find insufficient color contrast, use the Accessibility Checker.
Strong contrast between text and background makes it easier for people with low vision or colorblindness to see and use the content. Use accessible font color. To find slides that do not have titles, use the Accessibility Checker. People who are blind, have low vision, or a reading disability rely on slide titles to navigate. For example, by skimming or using a screen reader, they can quickly scan through a list of slide titles and go right to the slide they want. Give every slide a title.
Hide a slide title. If you must use tables, create a simple table structure for data only, and specify column header information. To ensure that tables don’t contain split cells, merged cells, or nested tables, use the Accessibility Checker. Use table headers. To find potential issues related to fonts or white space, review your slides for areas that look crowded or illegible.
Make videos accessible to people who are blind or have low vision or people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Subtitles typically contain a transcription or translation of the dialogue. Closed captions typically also describe audio cues such as music or sound effects that occur off-screen. Video description means audio-narrated descriptions of a video’s key visual elements. These descriptions are inserted into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue. Video description makes video more accessible to people who are blind or have low vision.
Include accessibility tags to PDF files you create from your presentation. The tags make it possible for screen readers and other assistive technologies to read and navigate a document. Top of Page. The Accessibility Checker is a tool that reviews your content and flags accessibility issues it comes across.
It explains why each issue might be a potential problem for someone with a disability. The Accessibility Checker also suggests how you can resolve the issues that appear.
In PowerPoint, the Accessibility Checker runs automatically in the background when you’re creating a document. If the Accessibility Checker detects accessibility issues, you will get a reminder in the status bar. The Accessibility pane opens, and you can now review and fix accessibility issues.
For more info, go to Improve accessibility with the Accessibility Checker. Tip: Use the Accessibility Reminder add-in for Office to notify authors and contributors of accessibility issues in their documents. With the add-in, you can quickly add reminder comments that spread awareness of accessibility issues and encourage the use of the Accessibility Checker. For more info, go to Use the Accessibility Reminder to notify authors of accessibility issues.
The following procedures describe how to make the slides in your PowerPoint presentations accessible. For more info, go to Video: Create accessible slides and Video: Design slides for people with dyslexia. Use one of the accessible PowerPoint templates to make sure that your slide design, colors, contrast, and fonts are accessible for all audiences. They are also designed so that screen readers can more easily read the slide content. In the Search for Online templates and themes text field, type accessible templates and press Enter.
One simple step towards inclusivity is having a unique, descriptive title on each slide, even if it isn’t visible. A person with a visual disability that uses a screen reader relies on the slide titles to know which slide is which.
Use the Accessibility ribbon to make sure every slide has a title. For instructions, go to Title a slide and expand the “Use the Accessibility ribbon to title a slide” section. You can position a title off the slide. That way, the slide has a title for accessibility, but you save space on the slide for other content. For instructions, go to Title a slide and expand the “Put a title on a slide, but make the title invisible” section.
If you want all or many of your slide titles to be hidden, you can modify the slide master. For instructions, go to Title a slide and expand the “Systematically hide slide titles” section. If you’ve moved or edited a placeholder on a slide, you can reset the slide to its original design.
All formatting for example, fonts, colors, effects go back to what has been assigned in the template. Restoring the design might also help you find title placeholders which need a unique title. To restore all placeholders for the selected slide, on the Home tab, in the Slides group, select Reset. Some people with visual disabilities use a screen reader to read the information on the slide.
When you create slides, putting the objects in a logical reading order is crucial for screen reader users to understand the slide. Use the Accessibility Checker and the Reading Order pane to set the order in which the screen readers read the slide contents.
When the screen reader reads the slide, it reads the objects in the order they are listed in the Reading Order pane. For the step-by-step instructions how to set the reading order, go to Make slides easier to read by using the Reading Order pane.
PowerPoint has built-in, predesigned slide designs that contain placeholders for text, videos, pictures, and more. They also contain all the formatting, such as theme colors, fonts, and effects. To make sure that your slides are accessible, the built-in layouts are designed so that the reading order is the same for people who use assistive technologies such as screen readers and people who see.
For more info, go to Video: Use accessible colors and styles in slides. Expand the Themes gallery and select the slide layout that you want. PowerPoint automatically applies this layout to the presentation. In general, avoid tables if possible and present the data another way, like paragraphs with headings. Tables with fixed width might prove difficult to read for people who use Magnifier, because such tables force the content to a specific size.
This makes the font very small, which forces Magnifier users to scroll horizontally, especially on mobile devices. If you have to use tables, use the following guidelines to make sure your table is as accessible as possible:.
If you have hyperlinks in your table, edit the link texts, so they make sense and don’t break mid-sentence. Make sure the slide content is easily read with Magnifier. Screen readers keep track of their location in a table by counting table cells. Blank cells in a table could also mislead someone using a screen reader into thinking that there is nothing more in the table. Use a simple table structure for data only and specify column header information. Screen readers also use header information to identify rows and columns.
Visual content includes pictures, SmartArt graphics, shapes, groups, charts, embedded objects, ink, and videos. In alt text, briefly describe the image, its intent, and what is important about the image.