Re: Set colour with conditional rule in Excel 2016

Cearbhall O'Meadhra

Brian and Quentin,


After my last message I received a phone call from a person who was able to dial into my computer using TeamViewer. This allows his PC to become a clone of my terminal. We talked through the use of the Fill colour dialog and so he was able to hear and follow what prompts I was getting whilst he could see the visual information.


Your advice, Brian, on arrowing right in the first dialog where no colour is displayed was very effective. For all that he could see, he could not advise me how to move from that initial list into the grid of colours. When he grasped what I was doing, he was able to explain that the grid of colours is beside the list of basic theme colours that we have to traverse initially. It was then clear that the simple way to use this dialog is to follow what you described this morning, selecting the colour from the grid or from the primary themes and then clicking OK.


After making my selection of a colour in the initial dialog, he confirmed that it was now  

displayed in the Sample window which, as you say, we cannot get to. I can see it in screen review but, anyway, as a graphic the screen reader couldnt use it. He made a good point that I must raise with the NVDA team, that Microsoft might add an alt text container to the Sample, what do you think?


Anyway, that proved to me that I can take it for granted that once I have made a selection within the initial set of colours, that selection remains valid no matter what else I explore and remains available until I get to the OK button.


The above makes a flat colour that fills the whole cell. Sometimes, a client wants a two-tone fill and that needs the next step.


This calls on the other four tabs which are to do with stetting a pattern and changing the background into two colours. Once I enter these elements, I immediately upset my original selection  which they are designed to replace.


Using this dialog involves a lot of acting in good faith, unfortunately, but it can be done, I am relieved to find.


My next issue is with the conditional formatting rule which failed to make the change. I must see if my new-found knowledge helps me to get the rule working!


Thanks, both of you, for responding and encouraging my effort.


All the best,




m +353 (0)833323487 Ph: _353 (0)1-2864623 e: cearbhall.omeadhra@...



From: <> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Thursday, August 23, 2018 2:50 PM
Subject: Re: [nvda] Set colour with conditional rule in Excel 2016



              My Excel experience itself is relatively limited, and last night was my first foray into conditional formatting.

              This is one of those times where there really is no substitute for sight when it comes to figuring out exactly what's going on with the screen reader itself, which is behaving as it should, but with a dialog setup that is quite atypical and where what you hear isn't always exactly indicative of what's going on.  The fact that "No Color" is a button with a value of its own, and the first one, can lead to the utterly incorrect conclusion if one lands on it again that you've somehow undone a color you set earlier, but you haven't unless you press it.  The screen reader also never lands on the large graphic at the bottom of that dialog that is showing the color sample in a broad swath that you selected above, which does make sense since you can't interact with it, it's meant as an obvious visual cue for the sighted, but even they can't interact with it, it's just there.

I do all these sorts of checks "as needed" because I've learned over time that non-intuitive dialogs can be confusing enough when you can see them, but when all you can do is hear them, and you aren't quite certain of how they are traversed, it makes it even worse.   I was actually surprised at the whole need to right arrow through the "short list" of colors at the top before landing in the grid where all the directional arrows work.  This is not something I'd expect anyone, including myself, would know unless they'd already had experience with it.  It's quite peculiar.

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1803, Build 17134  

    A little kindness from person to person is better than a vast love for all humankind.

           ~ Richard Dehmel



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