After updating to Ventura, I am again disappointed that Excel seems to have lost Voiceover support; in any event, it is not reading to me now, nor is it responding to the arrows either with Quicknav on or off. Word will still read, but it has never given me typing echo as I write. I have looked online and in the forums here for the most accessible Excel and Word alternatives, but haven't found much. Please advise me what these best alternatives are. I have tried Pages and Numbers, and I don't much like them. I generally write in TextEdit. Numbers doesn't even seem to apply my system settings for background, colors, etc. I say "seem" a lot because I know that sometimes there are tricks or commands that unlock these issues. Any advice and guidance would be appreciated.
Well there's google docs, but it's a bit clunky with voiceover - particularly with Safari. And with Chrome's hit or miss success rate with Ventura that option is out the window. There is some *some* work being done to try and get NVDA working in Wine, but due to several Windows components (MSAA and Onecore just to name a few) missing from Wine out of the box that's not exactly an easy thing to do. There's also the fact that native office for mac is pretty much on life support. They have the cloud office offering for general consumers, and windows365 is perfectly workable on mac for businesses, so it doesn't make financial sense for MS to keep supporting the Mac natively.
However, if you can do without keyboard echo, VoiceOver's indent beeps do work well with Word, though if you need to do a hanging indent I haven't found them to work, so the only indents it works on are those initiated via tab-stops. Text Checker also works decently well.
I spent several days working on a giant spreadsheet I'm using to do some data modelling, I'm setting up a business so needed to leave iWork for Office because my team is cross platform. Excel was passible enough to use with Voiceover, Word has always been a pain. After the upgrade to Ventura I did last week, thinking all the bugs had gone by now, VoiceOver just will not read Excel. I've had to download Parallels and pay for win 11 Pro just to continue working and I'm already lining up to buy a cheap Dell. Accessibility on Ventura is honestly a joke compared to previous version in any case, this isn't the only app that's got worse for me.
As for alternatives, it depends what you want to do. There aren't really that many, Numbers might be your best bet if it's casual stuff you're working on, particularly with the recent introduction of pivot tables and more professional functionality; I've built pretty comprehensive investment allocation and spending guides in Numbers. If you're working cross platform or need truly giant datasets, I'd honestly recommend a VM with Windows or a separate machine. LibreOffice isn't accessible at all from what I've seen, I've just downloaded OnlyOffice to check and it isn't either. I've had so many Macs over the years I've lost count, but with the latest updates it honestly doesn't look like there's enough accessible office options to make it a viable platform for office work anymore if Pages Keynote and Numbers aren't your thing.