Column and row headers in Excel for Mac

macOS and Mac Apps

Although my understanding is that one can set a given column and row as a header that Voiceover will announce in Numbers, this doesn't seem to be possible in Excel 2016. Has anyone had success with this? A spreadsheet is useless unless one knows which row and column one is in by its label.
In Excel, vo+R and +C don't work well: the row number is announced, but column just dings at me.
There's a Microsoft document about how to make Excel spreadsheets accessible for screen readers, and this document says to create a table out of a range of cells, making sure the first row are marked as headers. Tried it, and not only is this very confusing, it didn't work. The Table tab on the ribbon also seems not to behave as I'd expect.
I'm pretty new to Voiceover on the Mac, so tell me if I'm missing something. Anybody think this would be scriptable, so that the user could set, say, row one and column 3 as the headers to either read on demand or else announce on movement?
I can see this being an issue where Microsoft could blame Apple for not having the functionality that Jaws and NVDA do, while Apple could just as easily blame Microsoft for not disclosing standard header information to the OS the way Numbers does; either way, nothing would get done.
Again, I hope I'm just missing it. Thanks in advance.



Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Saturday, April 8, 2017

Wanted to bump this in case someone can say that assigning row and column headers in Excel for Voiceover to announce is in fact possible.
A "chat" with the disability answer desk was very unhelpful. The robot (I hope it was a robot) said that they didn't have any information on the topic and that, because Voiceover is a third party product, they don't provide support for it and I should contact Apple. #1 it's the OS, not a third party app, but #2 it was a straight-forward issue, stated plainly with the right keywords, and so my guess is that they haven't done anything to make row and column headers usable by Voiceover. I pointed a couple of these things out, but "Sue" had disappeared. Maybe the Sue golem was off fetching her human, but I waited a few minutes on a seemingly dead connection before disconnecting. Maybe I'll call the answer desk by phone when I feel like spending ten cents a minute on hold.
Although the Narrator team at Microsoft has done some impressive things lately, I am skeptical of their recent noises about accessibility. Accessibility in Office for Mac is largely the byproduct of rewriting the apps in koko, I think, and I wonder if we will see real effort to go beyond small patches to implament Voiceover-specific functionality. Here's hoping. Meanwhile, I don't see a business case for Apple to go out of their way, either, to write code specific to a Microsoft product.

I have some spreadsheets that use array formulas, which Numbers doesn't support.