Document Accessibility How Tos

Document Accessibility

This is not an exhaustive list of document types that needs to be made accessible. However, this list covers some of the most common document uses on campus.

Where possible we have linked to vendor documentation about making platform content accessible.

Word Documents

Below are some of the most common elements used in Word Documents. For specific instructions on how to modify your document or for other use cases, refer to .

Styles

  • If creating your own style, make sure your style elements look different from each other (i.e., Heading 1 looks larger than Heading 2).
  • Make sure that you use consistent headings (i.e., don't skip from Heading 1 to Heading 3).
  • Do not use font formatting to mimic style elements--styles are the only way for a screen reader to identify headers.

Fonts

  • Use 12pt or larger font sizes.
  • Use fonts consistently throughout your document.
  • For longer text elements, use a sans serif font.
  • Avoid using italics or upper-case letters for emphasis.

Colors

  • Use appropriate color contrast. Check your background and foreground colors using the . Your colors must pass the AA requirements.
  • Do not convey information solely by using color. If color is used to give information, make sure that the information is available another way as well.

Spacing

  • To start a new page, use a Page Break. Do not press enter repeatedly.
  • Space between lines, often referred to as leading or line height, should be at least 1.5 times the font size (e.g., for 12 pt. font use at least 18pt spacing).

Images

  • Set wrapping style of non-text elements as "in line with text."
  • Add alt text to graphics and images.
  • Avoid text boxes, Word Art and watermarks as they are inaccessible to screen readers.
  • Avoid using obtrusive watermarks or background images.

Columns

  • Columns should be inserted by selecting columns from the Page Layout tab. Do not create faux columns by inserting spaces and tabs.

Tables

  • Create tables by selecting Table from the Insert Tab.
  • Use proper Table Headings and check the Header Row check box.
  • If a table is longer than a page, Header Rows must be repeated at the top of the new page.

Links

  • Include context for each link and describe where it leads. Avoid using "click here" or "more info" as link titles.

Graphs and charts

  • Caption your graphs and charts with a description of its content.
  • Provide alternative methods for accessing the information. Oftentimes a data table is the best method.

Page layout

  • Do not manually insert page numbers. Use the Page Number tool under the Insert Tab.

PowerPoint Presentations

Below are some of the most common elements used in PowerPoint. For specific instructions on how to modify your document or for other use cases, refer to .

Slide Layout

  • Using built-in layouts and templates will ensure that your slides have proper structure for headings and lists.

Fonts

  • Use 12pt or larger font sizes.
  • Use fonts consistently throughout your document.
  • For longer text elements, use a sans serif font.
  • Avoid using italics or upper-case letters for emphasis.

Colors

  • Use appropriate color contrast. (Check your background and foreground colors using the . Your colors must pass the AA requirements.)
  • Do not convey information solely by using color. If color is used to give information, make sure that the information is available another way as well.

Spacing

  • Avoid overcrowding slides with information. There should be enough white space between text and image elements on your slides that the two elements do not run together.

Images

  • Set wrapping style of non-text elements as "in line with text".
  • Add alt text to graphics and images.
  • Avoid text boxes, Word Art and watermarks as they are inaccessible to screen readers.
  • Avoid using obtrusive background images.

Slide animations and transitions

  • Avoid automatic slide transitions in PowerPoint slides that you disseminate.
  • Less is more when it comes to animation. Don't distract from the content with too much movement.

Tables

  • Create tables by selecting Table from the Insert Tab.
  • Use proper Table Headings and check the Header Row check box.

Links

  • Include context for each link and describe where it leads. Avoid using "click here" or "more info" as link titles.

Graphs and charts

  • Caption your graphs and charts with a description of its content.
  • Provide alternative methods for accessing the information. Oftentimes a data table is the best method.

Outlines and notes panels

  • Use a logical order when organizing slides in the Outline Panel.
  • Avoid image or chart descriptions in the Notes Panel.

Embedded audio/video

  • Include transcripts and/or captions for any audio or video files embedded in your presentation.

Excel Spreadsheets

Below are some of the most common elements used in Excel. For specific instructions on how to modify your document or for other use cases, refer to .

Fonts

  • Use 12pt or larger font sizes.
  • Use fonts consistently throughout your document.
  • Avoid using italics or upper-case letters for emphasis.

Colors

  • Use appropriate color contrast. (Check your background and foreground colors using the . Your colors must pass the AA requirements.)
  • Do not convey information solely by using color. If color is used to give information, make sure that the information is available another way as well.

Links

  • Include context for each link and describe where it leads. Avoid using "click here" or "more info" as link titles.

Graphs and charts

  • Caption your graphs and charts with a description of its content.

Headings and cell styles

  • If creating your own style, make sure your style elements look different from each other (i.e., Heading 1 looks larger than Heading 2).
  • Make sure that you use consistent headings (i.e., don’t skip from Heading 1 to Heading 3).
  • Do not use font formatting to mimic style elements—styles are the only way for a screen reader to identify headers.
  • When creating a table, use the Format as Table tool to ensure that your headers are read properly.

Naming cell sections

  • Naming cell sections allows assistive technologies like screen readers to quickly identify the purpose of sections in Excel sheets.
  • Use descriptive titles for your cell sections so that someone who is not familiar with the document can still quickly navigate it.

Checking the accessibility of your PDF

The accessibility of a PDF document depends largely on the accessibility of the original document. Using appropriate headers, fonts, and color choices are all elements that need to be addressed when formatting the original document.

一道本不卡免费高清If a page from a textbook is scanned and made into a PDF, the resulting PDF is an image and screen readers cannot identify any text presented in the image. Any content presented in an inaccessible PDF file needs to be available elsewhere in an accessible format.

一道本不卡免费高清Accessible PDF files have “tags” that provide structure to screen readers. Visit the for more information and instructions on making accessible PDFs.

Check your PDF for Tags

  1. Open the file in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  2. Select View from the top navigation bar.
  3. Select Show/Hide from the list.
  4. Select Navigation Panes from the list.
  5. Select Tags from the list.

一道本不卡免费高清Any tags within the document will appear. Selecting any tag will highlight its location in the document.

Add Tags to an untagged PDF

  1. Open the file in Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  2. Select Tools from the right-hand menu.
  3. Select Accessibility.
  4. Select Add Tags to Document.