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Creating Accessible Word Documents

Office 2010 comes with a nice built in accessibility check for Word. Before using this tool though there are a couple of things you can do to help make your document accessible.

  • Use headers to break apart content
  • Use lists whenever possible
  • If using graphics, make sure to have an alt tag or a descriptor
  • Don't use fancy fonts or colors
  • If your document is long, provide a table of contents

Now that you've done the preliminary run through lets have Word do the rest.

  1. Open up the word document that you'd like to check.
  2. Click File>Info>Check for Issues>Check Accessibility
    image of path to check accessibility in a word document
    Photo Credit: University of Montana, Information Technology
  3. Word will run through your document and check for any issues. The results will display in the column. If you do have errors click on the error and read the 'Additional Information' box to learn how to fix it. If you don't receive any errors, your document is fully accessible and ready for distribution.
    additional information panel word returns after checking accessibility
image of path to check accessibility in a word document

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