21 Jan 2014

Calendar 2014 v6 Accessible version part 1

#7  Accessibility of Excel (MS Office) documents

Note 24-2-2014: Today I added part 2 of this post, and when you read this, you ´ll understand why I changed the orignal title of this post ('Calendar 2014 v6 Accessible version') to: Accessibility of Excel (MS Office) documents'

Part 1/2 (21-1-2014)

I made a new version (v6) of my Excel Calendar, which is almost the same as v5, except it now passes the test of the 'Accessibility Checker' (in Excel 2010, menu File > Info >
Check for Issues > Check Accessibility), result:

No accessibility issues found. People with disabilities should not have difficulty reading this document

So 'accessible' software is software which can be used (also) by peope with a disability, e.g. a visual disability. For more information, see:

To make this Excel 'accesible', I had e.g. to split merged cells (to single cells) and add a description to hyperlinks and pictures. 

'Accessible software' (websites) is the specialty of the company I work for in Spain, Technosite, a member of ONCE, a foundation dedicated to the integration of disabled people in society, so that e.g. a blind person can have a job as a computer-programmer (I worked with one once in a project, I was really impressed). For more information, see:

Part 2/2 (24-2-2014)

Maybe my Excel with the 2014-calendar in part 1 of this post is not the best example to demonstrate the subject of this post: 'accessibility of Excel (MS Office) documents', because normally a year-calendar is something that you print and stick on a wall, while 'accessibility' refers to electronic documents accessible for people with a visual handicap, e.g. blind persons. So to demonstrate 'accessibility' in a better way, I´ll use in part 2 of this post another Excel-document I made (see download-mirror #2), which has a table of the ranking of the top 6 skaters in the 5km speed skating competition in the Olympic Games in Sochi and a bar-chart based on this table, see fig.1. As fig.1 shows (see the warning-messages in the right-part of the screen: 'Alternative text is missing for image..'), this document does not pass the test of the 'Accessibility Checker' (availaible since MS Office 2010), because it has some images without alternative text (the flags). So I decided to make a new, 'accessible', version of this Excel, see fig.2, where the right-part of the screen now shows this (OK-)message:

"No accessibility issues found. People with disabilities should not have difficulty reading this document".

So to make the Excel accessible, I deleted the flag-column because this column is not really necessary 
(the table has a column 'Country').

I read somewhere this accessibilty guideline: 

"In Excel, you should not mix visual elements (e.g. charts) with text elements (e.g. table), but separate them, so put the chart in another worksheet than the table because it causes problems for screen-reader software like Jaws. "

NB: Jaws can produce output both in audio (reads aloud the text on the PC-screen) or in Braille, for Braille-output devices, for more details, see:

So that´s why I deleted the flag-icons from the Ranking-table. And I also deleted the other visual objects (e.g. logos Sochi and skating) which are nice (for a non-blind person), but not really necesary. The only visual element which I didn´t delete is the chart, which is usefull because a non-blind person can see in a chart easier/faster then in a table data like the differences in the finishing-times. And I did not put the chart in another worksheet then the table because this Excel is also designed to be printed on 1 A4. And to prevent problems for Jaws, I separated table and chart with a row with the text 'Visual Objects (Charts) below'. And I included an 'alternative text' to the chart. Alternative text, also known as 'alt text 'or 'Alt Text', appears when you move your pointer over a picture or object, and helps people that use screen readers to understand the content of images in your file.

If you compare fig.1 and 2, it is clear that for a non-blind person fig.1 is more 'visually attractive'
and I think this is the main goal of most companies, create documents which look nice and they don´t look at the accessiblity-aspect. But administrations in the US must:  Section 508 of the United States Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires Federal agencies’ to make all of their electronic and information technology accessible.
I don´t know if in other countries administrations also have the obligation to produce accessible documents
but I suppose they have, they should.

For more information about Accessibility Features in Microsoft Office 2010, see:

And if you want to create accessible Excel-templates (xltx), so to make it easier for others
to create accessible Excel-documents by using your templates, here you can find some guidelines:

And for normal Excel-documents (xlsx), see:



Fig.1: v1: Non-Accessible version

fig.2: v2: Accessible version


MIrror #1:

Part 1: Calendar

- PDF-format (zip with 7 PDF´s, one for each language):

19 Jan 2014

Calendar 2014 v5 Korean part 1/2

#6  Calendar 2014 v5 Korean part 1/2

Part 1/2 (19-1-2014)

I made a new version (v5) of my Excel Calendar, which is almost the same as v3, except it has a new language, Korean (in stead of the 'dummy-language' HEX, in column 7 of the language table), see fig.1.

The Korean alphabet, Hangul, uses CJK-characters, that is: Chinese characters, which is no problem for Excel (MS Office) since it uses Unicode  and UFT-8 encoding, which you can see if you open the xlsx file (core.xml) (with e.g. 7-zip):

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="true"?>


Here an example of how to write with CJK-characters:


Part 2/2 (28-4-2014)

Maybe someone wonders why I made a Korean version the 2014-year calendar. Well, the reason is I was interested to make something in a language with a non-Latin alphabet, so with letters which are not on a 'normal' QWERTY-keyboard. And I choose Korean because I visited some time ago a nice exposition of the ‘Centro Cultural Coreano’ in Madrid about marquetry (inlaid work, paintings made from wood), for some photos I made, see:

And here I also saw a video about the Korean alphabet (‘Hangul’) which seems to have some interesting aspects. Language experts say that Hangul, has a very nice, 'logical' and 'scientific' design and because it uses the principle 'one sound for one word', it is very suitable for voice-recognition software. And they also say on a Hangul-keyboard you can type faster then on a QWERTY keyboard. For more details of Hangul, see:

Some of the people working in CentroCulturalCoreano helped me with the translations of the names of the weekdays and months in Hangul. I gave them my Excel-file with the calendar, which they opened in their MS Excel (Korean version, see fig.3) and in sheet 1 (Ínfo´), they typed in column 7 of tables 1 and 2 the names of the weekdays and months, using their QWERTY-keyboard. The way to do that is to switch in Windows to keyboard-language Korean and then, by using MS IME, the Windows Input Method Editor, see:  

every Korean character can be made by a combination of Latin-letters, see fig.4 and fig.5 for how to write ‘bike’ (자전거) in Hangul. Fig.5 is made with this Google-app.:


which is a really great tool, it can translate between almost every 2 given languages, so in this case English and Korean, and besides that it can produce the pronunciation.

As I said in part 1 of this post, Korean-letters use 2–byte Unicode-characters, with which you can make the Hangul-letters you can see in fig.6. I won´t get into details about Unicode, for a good article about it, see: 

but in short: ´special characters’, that is, non-standard (ASNSI) characters, like e.g. ‘ñ’ in Spanish are made with the 2nd byte (the 1st byte is for ANSI-characters) and how this byte is translated depends on the code-page used. For example, a character byte containing the HEX-value 0xA5 is interpreted as the character Ñ on a computer using code page 437 and is interpreted as the yen sign (¥) on a computer running code page 1252. So if you see on your ticket of the (Spanish) greengrocer´s shop the word ‘PI¥A’, instead of ‘PIÑA’ (pineapple), you know that this is the result of using different code-tables in the POS-system of the greengrocer´s shop and the system that delivered the ‘article-price’ table.

Microsoft distributes MS Office (and so MS Excel) in almost all languages (‘localization’), which is great, but in case of Excel, I think it would be easier if the language in formulas would be only English, like for VBA or DAX.  Fortunately there are websites with translations for formulas, like this one (Spanish – English):

To close this post I wanted to thank the people of CentroCulturalCoreano for helping me creating this Korean-calendar in Excel and explaining me a little bit about Hangul, so:
감사 !

Figures (part2):



fig.5: Google Translator

fig.6: Windows Character Map


MIrror #1: 

MIrror #2: 

18 Jan 2014

Calendar 2014 v4 USA

#5  Calendar 2014 v4 USA - Weekday 1 = Sunday

I made a new version (v4) of my Excel Calendar, which is almost the same as v3, except it has Sunday as the first day of the week in the calendar, see fig.1 (in stead of Monday as we have in Europe). This after having read  on:


According to the international standard ISO 8601, Monday shall be the first day of the week ending with Sunday as the seventh day of the week. Although this is the international standard, countries such as the United States still have their calendars refer to Sunday as the start of the seven-day week.

On my small 'calendar-study' on internet, I found this sites which might interest you:



where I saw this interesting fact:

For most Israelis, the workweek begins on Sunday and ends on Thursday or Friday midday to accommodate Jewish Sabbath, which begins Friday night. The standard workweek is 43 hours per week ..

I´m glad to live in Spain-Madrid (14 holidays) and having a workweek of 40 hours or 37 hours (in Jul., Aug., with the summer-heat)..

Note 2 (21-1-2014):
I just read that in Spain, people work on average 300 hours more then in Germany and Holland, see:

Note (19-1-2014):
Today I read on:

that it seems that there are countries which have as the first weekday on the calender not Mon.or Sun., but e.g. Sat. (Saudi Arabia). But I hope that with the 2 calenders (with Mon. and Sun. as 1st weekday) I published in this blog, I covered the majority of the readers of my blog. But if you want a calender with a different 1st weekday, you can make it yourself using my Excel and doing some copy and pasting for the weekday-columns (circular shift).

As you can see in this small example of an Excel-calendar, creating a software-product which can be used world-wide is far from trivial (e.g. for a calendar, apart from translating the names of weekdays and months, you have to take the differences of the 1st weekday into account). For more information about 'software localization', as Microsoft names it, see:




* Mirror #1:


* Mirror #2:

* Mirror #3:


12 Jan 2014

Calendar 2014 v3

#4  Calendar 2014 v3 - Multi-year and Multi-language

In this article I´ll explain the new version (v3) of my Excel doc Calendar 2014.

- At the end of this article you can find the URL where you can download the Excel-doc. (for free), and in mirror #3 there is also a PDF-version.
- The Excel is set up for use in Madrid-Spain (it has the Spanish holidays and school-year: 'Calendario Laboral Madrid (capital)' , 'Calendario Escolar 2013-2014  CA Madrid'), but of course you can change that.

Calendar-v3 has the following improvements :

- It has 5 different kinds of calendars:
  1. 2014 per week
  2. 2014 per quarter
  3. 3 years: 2013, 2014, 2015 (triennium) *
  4. 2 years: 2013, 2014 (biennium) *
  5. school-year: 2013-2014 *
(*): new in version 3

- It has a parameter to set your language (English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Italian). So in stead of calendar-v2 with it´s bilingual (Spanish and English) month- and weekday-labels (e.g. weekday 1: Lu.Mo, Lunes.Monday), calendar-v3 shows 'L' (if you set the language-parameter to Spanish) or 'M' (if you set the language-parameter to English). See fig.1-2.
And if your language is not in the list of 6, you can use the 'free' column 7 ('HEX') to write your own labels (now 'HEX' has hexadecimal values which I used for testing).

- I tried to follow as much as possible the Microsoft Excel template design guidelines:

fig.1: Calendar1 in Spanish

fig.2: Calendar1 in English

Some print-screens of the new calendars in v3:

fig.3: 2 years: 2013, 2014 (biennium)

fig.4: school-year: 2013- 2014

The calendar 'school-year 2013-2014' (in Spain: from Sep. 2013 to Jun. 2014) in fig.4 I made by using the biennium-calendar (fig.3), so by copy-pasting the months Sep.- Dec. of 2013 and Jan.- Jun. of 2014. 

I hope the calendars can be usefull for you, but in case you might find them boring, you can always use the one which I saw the other day in the newspaper '20 Minutos':

or look for some design-calenders, here you can find some real nice ones:


9 Jan 2014

Calendar 2014 v2

#3  Calendar 2014 v2 - Profesional Edition

In my previous post I wrote about an Excel doc. I made:  Calendar 2014 (v1), with Spanish holidays ('calendario laboral'). It´s 'style' was quite basic, it was more or less a copy-paste of the output of a query on a date-table (T-SQL with pivot-command to rotate weekdays (from rows to columns)). In this post I write about a new version of Calendar 2014 (v2)  that I made, for which I tried to copy the style of my pocket-agenda (yes, I still use paper..), so Calendar 2014 v2 is a more profesional version than v1.

In this article I´ll explain an Excel-document (xlsx, version 2010) I made: Calendar 2014 v2 (Profesional Edition)

- At the end of this article you can find the URL where you can download the Excel-doc. (for free), and in mirror #3 there is also a PDF-version.
- the Excel-doc is bilingual (in Spanish and English, e.g. weekday 1: Lu.Mo, Lunes.Monday)

The Excel-doc has 2 versions of the calendar 2014:
* per week, see fig.1
* per quarter, see fig.2

The calendar has the holidays in Spain (Madrid) marked with ´#´and in red (for which I created a conditional formatting rule). If you don´t want to see these holidays, just delete the ´#´s in the date-cells. And if you want to replace the Spanish holidays by the ones of your country, just add the ´#´s in the date-cells.
And of course you can add other tags, e.g. add '@' to date-cells which correspond to your vacacions and add a corresponding conditional formatting rule.




* Mirror #1:

* Mirror #2:

* Mirror #3:


7 Jan 2014

Calendar 2014

#2  Calendar 2014/Calendario Laboral España Madrid

In my previous post I wrote about an Excel doc. I made to track your worked hours. Besides that, it also contained a calendar for 2014, with Spanish holidays ('calendario laboral') and a vacations-planner. In this post I write more about the calendar, for which I created a new Excel-doc, with some changes.

In this article I´ll explain an Excel-document (xlsx, version 2010) I made: Calendar 2014
- At the end of this article you can find the URL where you can download the Excel-doc. (for free)
- the Excel-doc is in Spanish, but in the Excel-doc of my 1st post you can see a translation in English of the most important Spanish terms.

The Excel-doc has 2 versions of the calendar 2014:

  • week  x weekday (52x7 matrix), see fig.1
  • quarter x month (4x3 matrix), see fig.2

Notation of dates in cells: month + day
Every month has a different color (I created 12 conditional formatting rules).




* Mirror #1:

* Mirror #2:

* Mirror #3:

1 Jan 2014


#1  Timesheet hours worked 2014  in Excel

NB 13/1/2015: 
I made a new version (V2) of this Excel, "Timesheet 2015", see:

In this article I´ll explain an Excel-document (xlsx, version 2010) I made: "Time sheet hours worked 2014", which has the following functionality:
At the end of this article you can find the websites where you can download the Excel-doc. (for free).
Mirror #1, Microsoft Skydrive has "Excel Web App", so you can look the Excel-doc even in you don´t have Excel installed on your PC.

- the Excel is in Spanish, but on sheet-2 you can see a translation in English of the most used Spanish terms.
- I filled for all days of the year the worked hours, so this is how the Excel could look like at 31-12-2014.

The Excel has 5 work-sheets:


In fig.1 you can see all the dates of 2014 (white) and input-columns (green) and calculated columns (yellow). In the green cells you register every day the begin- and end-time of your work-day and the same for your breaks.


Explication of columns in sheet-1 and vocabulary, and used formulas.


In fig.2 you can see some of the statistics, which are pivot-tables using the data in sheet-1. So every time you change data in sheet-1, you have to update these pivot-tables. In Excel 2010 (Spanish), you can do this in menu "Data > Actualizar Todo". For details, see:


The blue bars in the graphic (in fig.2) show the total time worked in a week or month, and the red bars show the difference with the standard work hours (as defined by the company).



2014 Calendar with (Spanish) holidays



Vacation planner for members of team, with color-coding (e.g. red: request for vacation denied, green: aproved)

Note (25-1-2014): In my Excel in worksheet 'Estadisticas', cell O74 and Q51, you can see the total hours I have to work in Spain (1765). See my post of 18-1-2014 for more details about this:


* Mirror #1:

* Mirror #2:

* Mirror #3: