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Accessibility: Microsoft Word






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Microsoft Word

The Accessibility Basics and Guidelines page outlines some of the basic items to keep in mind when creating an accessible document. This page will talk about how to accomplish those basic items using Microsoft Word.


Microsoft Word Ribbon

Using the Home tab in the Ribbon, you can quickly select different font type, styles, size, and color.  Use the small gray arrow in the corner of the "Font" command group to open the Font Properties window for more options.  You can also do this by hitting "Ctrl + D" on your keyboard.  Remember not to use color alone to distinguish information.

Microsoft word ribbon

When possible, use the "Style" options from the Home tab to break your information up.  Using the style options both adjusts the look of your font so it stands apart and tells a screen reader which information to read first.  Set section font as a "Heading" and subsequent information as a lower header or "body+".  Your document will be organized and easy to ready for all patrons but will also ensure adaptive software can read the document properly.


alt text in microsoft word

After you add an image to a Word document, you can use the Picture Format tab to access the "Alt Text" pane, click on "Alt Text" in the Ribbon under the Picture Format tab.  The pane will open on the right, enter a short sentence describing the image.

If you add an "icon" or picture to a Word document using stock images available through Microsoft Word, they will automatically include alternate text.

It is best practice to not stack images in documents, such as using a circle to mark a particular spot on a photograph.  Stacked images will be read out of order by screen readers and confuse the information for the patron.  If you need to have an arrow or circle over a photo, add it outside of Microsoft Word using a program such as Snagit.  Now when you add the edited picture you can input alternate text describing what is being highlighted in the photo without causing problems for a screen reader.

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