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Eight Steps To Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents

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California State University FullertonCampus Information Technology TrainingTimothyBenbow
Eight Steps ToCreating AccessibleMicrosoft Word Documents
This presentation is intended as an overview of creating Accessible Microsoft Word documentsAfter this presentation there will be videos on each of the topics discussed here demonstrating how to use the tools.
Accessible Word Documents
Using Styles for format your content.Usestyles to identify what is a heading, body text, lists, etc. Styles make it easy to control and update the formatting of your document as well as make it easy for screen readers to understand what the content is.Thisis especially important for headings in your document. If you document is converted into a PDF document, the heading will automatically become PDF bookmarks.
Step One: Using Styles
Use the columns tool.Ifyou document has columns, use the columns tool in Word.Donot use tables to simulate columns of text.Use tables tool in Word to create tables of information.Do not use tabs to setup tables. If you have existing tables setup with tabs, Word has a tool to convert the tabbed content into tables.
Step Two: Use Columns and Tables
Use the tables of contents, indexing and notation tools.Thesetools will easily create working and easy to update navigation elements within your Word document.Rememberto use pagenumbersin the header or footer
Step Three: Navigation
Use Headers and Footers.Usethe header and footer areas to place heading and footing information. This will allow screen readers to skip this content.
Step Four: Use Headers and Footers
Alternative text descriptions forimages.Wherethe content is an image thatconveys informationto the reader,an alternative text description shouldbe used to provide the information to the screen reader user.Forcomplex images that require an explanation of more than 255 characters, an appendix can be notated and used.
Step Five: Text Descriptions
Working LinksIfyour document contains links, for example to a website (HTTP link) or to a location within the document (Anchor link), the links must work.Thisincludes links in the table of contents for a document and any foot or end notes you have used.
Step Six: Working Links
ColorColorcannot be the only way information is conveyed to a reader. For example, if you have a chart in your document, the legend cannot simply have “red” as the color identifying a column. There must be a second visual clue for the reader for example using a “checkerboard” pattern on the column.ContrastIfyou use background colors or images, there should be ample contrast between the background and foregroundtext
Step Seven: Color and Contrast
Fonts, Sizing and SpacingAre the fonts you are using clear and legible? Avoid using fancy fonts that are more decorative than functional.The body text in your document should be big enough so that it does not present a problem for individuals with limited vision. Usually this means font sizes between 10 and 14 pointsThe spacing in the document should be enough to show paragraph breaks clearly. Spacing between lines should be at least 120% of the fonts size. The is the default in Word.
Step Eight: Fonts and Spacing
California State University FullertonCampus Information Technology TrainingTimothyBenbow
Eight Essentials for CreatingAccessibleWord Documents





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Eight Steps To Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Documents