W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > July to September 2001

Re: [w3c] Accessibility of Excel docs?

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 16 Jul 2001 23:17:43 +0100 (BST)
Message-Id: <200107162217.f6GMHhR13044@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> exist?  Is it accessible? Other than an HTML equivalent, is there =
> another method of making these documents accessible?

The only spread sheet formats that are reasonably universal are tab and
comma separated values (tab is less common but probably more universal).
If you want the spread sheet logic, you will almost certainly have to
buy the full commercial product.  What viewers may allow you to do is
to look at pie charts, and the like, with frozen data.

HTML is probably about the most universal format for end user viewing
of tables.

If some spread sheet logic must be retained, you should save in the
oldest supported printable format, e.g. SYLK.  That maximises the 
chances that other products will be able to read them.

You need to remember that Microsoft want you to buy MS Office and failing
that, to at least buy Windows.  As such, it is not in their interest
that you should be able to revise Excel spread sheets with anything
other than Excel, and, as far as possible, you should use Windows to
view them.  They have even tightened the licensing terms for MSDN to
prevent people creating non-Windows tools that read the latest Office
document formats, or competing Windows office tools that can read them.
So, if you provide Excel documents in native format, you are essentially
insisting that recipients use Microsoft software.

In the office, we are a Microsoft house, so I'd have Excel available,
but at home, although I have Windows 98 for the occasions where software
only runs on Windows, I do not have any means of reading Excel.  I do
have an MS Word Viewer, as in many circles, Word is used as though
everyone could read it.  I'm going to have to very desparate to access
a site's contents before I download any viewer.

> Content-Type: text/html;

pseudo HTML deleted.
Received on Monday, 16 July 2001 18:28:07 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Tuesday, 19 July 2011 18:13:55 GMT