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Windows: Best practices for making Word documents accessible The following table includes key best practices for creating Word documents that are accessible to people with disabilities. What to fix How to find it Why fix it How to fix it Include alternative text with all visuals.
Visual content includes pictures, SmartArt graphics, shapes, groups, charts, embedded objects, ink, and videos. To find missing alternative text, use the. Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen to understand what’s important in images and other visuals. Avoid using text in images as the sole method of conveying important information.
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If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the document. In alt text, briefly describe the image and mention the existence of the text and its intent. Add meaningful hyperlink text and ScreenTips. To determine whether hyperlink text makes sense as standalone information and whether it gives readers accurate information about the destination target, visually scan your document. People who use screen readers sometimes scan a list of links.
Links should convey clear and accurate information about the destination. For example, instead of linking to the text Click here, include the full title of the destination page. Tip: You can also add ScreenTips that appear when your cursor hovers over text or images that include a hyperlink. Ensure that color is not the only means of conveying information. To find instances of color-coding, visually scan your document. People who are blind, have low vision, or are colorblind might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors.
Use sufficient contrast for text and background colors. To find insufficient color contrast, use the. You can also look for text in your document that’s hard to read or to distinguish from the background. If your document has a high level of contrast between text and background, more people can see and use the content. Use built-in headings and styles. To find headings that are not in a logical order, use the. To preserve tab order and to make it easier for screen readers to read your documents, use a logical heading order and the built-in formatting tools in Word.
For example, organize headings in the prescribed logical order. Use Heading 1, Heading 2, and then Heading 3, rather than Heading 3, Heading 1, and then Heading 2. And, organize the information in your documents into small chunks.
Ideally, each heading would include only a few paragraphs. Use a simple table structure, and specify column header information. To ensure that tables don't contain split cells, merged cells, nested tables, or completely blank rows or columns, use the. Screen readers keep track of their location in a table by counting table cells. If a table is nested within another table or if a cell is merged or split, the screen reader loses count and can’t provide helpful information about the table after that point. Blank cells in a table could also mislead someone using a screen reader into thinking that there is nothing more in the table. Screen readers also use header information to identify rows and columns.
Add alt text to visuals in Office 365 The following procedures describe how to add alt text to visuals in your Word documents in Office 365: • • • •. Tip: To write a good alt text, make sure to convey the content and the purpose of the image in a concise and unambiguous manner. The alt text shouldn’t be longer than a short sentence or two—most of the time a few thoughtfully selected words will do. Do not repeat the surrounding textual content as alt text or use phrases referring to images, such as, 'a graphic of' or 'an image of.' Add alt text to images Add alt text to images, such as pictures, screenshots, icons, videos, and 3D models, so that screen readers can read the text to describe the image to users who can’t see the image. • Right-click an image.
• Select Edit Alt Text. The Alt Text pane opens on the right side of the document body.
• Type 1-2 sentences to describe the image and its context to someone who cannot see it. Tip: To spell check and correct a word you typed, just right-click the word and select from the suggested alternatives. Make visuals decorative If your document has visuals that are purely decorative, you can mark them as such without needing to write any alt text. When a screen reader finds such an image, it simply announces they are decorative, so the user knows they are not missing any information. • Right-click a visual. • Select Edit Alt Text.
The Alt Text pane opens on the right side of the document body. • Select the Decorative check box. The text entry field becomes grayed out. Add alt text to visuals in Office 2016 The following procedures describe how to add alt text to visuals in your Word documents in Office 2016: • • • •. Note: We recommend only putting text in the description field and leaving the title blank. This will provide the best experience with most major screen readers including Narrator.
For audio and video content, in addition to alt text, include closed captioning for people who are deaf or have limited hearing. Add alt text to images Add alt text to images, such as pictures and screenshots, so that screen readers can read the text to describe the image to users who can’t see the image. • Right-click an image. • Select Format Picture >Layout & Properties. • Select Alt Text. • Type a description and a title. Tip: Include the most important information in the first line, and be as concise as possible.
Make hyperlinks, text, and tables accessible The following procedures describe how to make the hyperlinks, text, and tables in your Word documents accessible. Add hyperlink text and ScreenTips • Select the text to which you want to add the hyperlink, and then right-click. • Select Link. The text you selected displays in the Text to display box. This is the hyperlink text. • If necessary, change the hyperlink text.
• In the Address box, enter the destination address for the hyperlink. • Select the ScreenTip button and, in the ScreenTip text box, type a ScreenTip. Tip: If the title on the hyperlink's destination page gives an accurate summary of what’s on the page, use it for the hyperlink text. For example, this hyperlink text matches the title on the destination page:. Apply built-in heading styles • Select the heading text. • On the Home tab, in the Styles group, select a heading style, for example, Heading 1 or Heading 2.
Use bulleted lists • Position the cursor anywhere in your document. • Select the Home tab. • In the Paragraph group, select the Bullets button. • Type each bullet item in the bulleted list. Use ordered lists • Position the cursor anywhere in your document. • Select the Home tab.
• In the Paragraph group, select the Numbering button. • Type the sequential steps. Use accessible text color Here are some ideas to consider: • Ensure that text displays well by using the Automatic setting for font colors. Select your text, and then select Home >Font Color >Automatic.
• Use the, to analyze the document and find insufficient color contrast. The tool now checks the documents for text color against page color, table cell backgrounds, highlight, textbox fill color, paragraph shading, shape and SmartArt fills, headers and footers, and links. • Use the, a free app that analyzes colors and contrast, and displays results almost immediately. Use accessible text format Here are some ideas to consider: • Add an underline to color-coded hyperlink text.
That can help colorblind people know the text is linked even if they can’t see the color. • Add shapes if color is used to indicate status. For example, add a checkmark symbol if green is used to indicate “pass” and an uppercase X if red indicates “fail”. Note: These resources provide other suggestions: and.
Use text spacing Increase or decrease white space between sentences and paragraphs. • Select your text. • Select the Home tab. • In the Paragraph group, in the lower-right corner of the group, select the More button. The Paragraph dialog box opens, showing the Indents and Spacing tab. • Under Spacing, select the spacing options you want.
Use table headers • Position the cursor anywhere in a table. • On the Table Tools Design tab, in the Table Style Options group, select the Header Row check box. • Type column headings. See also • • • •. Mac: Best practices for making Word documents accessible The following table includes key best practices for creating Word documents that are accessible to people with disabilities. What to fix How to find it Why fix it How to fix it Include alternative text with all visuals. Visual content includes pictures, SmartArt graphics, shapes, groups, charts, embedded objects, ink, and videos.
To find missing alternative text, use the. Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen to understand what’s important in images and other visuals. Iso Image File Maker.