Heading Styles

Create uniform heading structure through use of styles in Word. This allows screen readers to navigate a document and improves accessibility for everyone.

Adding and Editing Headings

I. Select the text and choose the appropriate style under

Styles on the Home ribbon, (e.g., "Heading 1 '

2. Headings l, 2, or 3 can also be assigned using CTRL + ALT + I, 2, or 3, respectively,

AaBbC.c.O( AaBbCcOg

Norma' No Spat...

      Aa         Aa±CcO

            Heading 2                  3


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Alternative Text for Images

Images can be given appropriate alternative text in Word. This alt text is read by a screen reader in a Word file and should remain intact when exporting to HTML or PDF.

Format Picture



Adding Alt Text

1. Right-click on the image and choose Format Picture.

2, Select the Layout & Properties icon and choose Alt Text.

3. Enter appropriate alt text only in the Description field (not the Title field),


When creating columns, always use true columns, not columns created by hand with the Tab key,

Creating Columns

1. Select Page Layout on the ribbon. 2. Select Columns under Page Setup and choose the appropriate number of columns.





Use true numbered and bulleted lists to emphasize a point or a sequence of steps,

Creating Lists

I Select the Numbered List or Bulleted List option on the Home ribbon, under the Paragraph section,

Word automatically creates a hyperlink when a user pastes a full URL onto a page, These may nor make sense to screen reader users, so more information is needed.

  •  Select the text you want linked, right click, and select Hyperlink or CTRL + k.

  • Make sure the text in the Text to Display field is a meaningful description and type the link URL in the Address bar.

Data Tables

Accessible tables need a clear table structure and table headers to help guide a screen reader user.



Creating Tables

1. Select che Insert tab on the ribbon, then select Table > Insert Table.

2, To add tablc headers to the first select Table 'bols> Layout on the ribbon, then choose the Repeat Header Rows option in the Dntn section.



Options in the Design tab may be used to change appearance but will not provide the necessary accessibility information.

Accessibility Checker


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Word includes an accessibility resource that identifies accessibility issues. 1. Select File> Info.

2. Select the Check for Issues button and choose Check Accessibility.

3. The Accessibility Checker task pane will show accessibility errors, warnings, and tips on how to repair the errors, Select specific issues to see Additional Information at the bottom of the task pane.

Other Principles

•   Ensure that font size is sufficient, around 12points.

•   Provide sufficient contrast.

•   Don't use color as the only way to convey content,

•   Provide a table ofcontents for long documents.

  • Use simple language
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