Word Designing with Accessibility

Word Designing with Accessibility
Content TypeDescription


  • Heading styles give a document structure by category or topic (Heading 1 through 6).
  • Use of headings to ease navigation through a document.
  • Headings allow for a table of contents to be generated automatically.


  • Use Styles Pane for font selection.
  • Use Strong and Emphasis in your Styles Pane menu instead of bold and italic.
  • Avoid underlining text unless it’s a link.
  • Use bullet points to summarize information and numbered lists to show sequential data.


  • Use alternative text (alt text), a written description of images and/or objects.
  • Be brief and descriptive.
  • “Image of…”or “photo of…” or “graphic of” is not needed.
  • The best method to practice is using captions, this will provide equal access to all users.
  • Best Practices for Accessible Images


  • Select colors with deep contrast.
  • Use Colour Contrast Analyser tool to ensure accessible contrast.
  • Provide captions if using color to convey meaning i.e. which section is highlighted in red?


  • Links should be clear and directly relate to the title or heading of the linked page.
  • Use “Visit the Universal Design Center” instead of “Click here for more details.”
  • Do not use the same link text to refer to different resources.
  • Do not use different link text to refer to the same resources.
  • Best Practices for Accessible Links



  • Use tables to organize data not format information.
  • Create table headings.
  • Include table captions or brief description.
  • Avoid merged, split, or blank cells.



Reading Order

  • Logical reading order: read information from left to right and from top to bottom.
  • If you use the “Table” function to organize your information, do not nest tables
    within a table and make sure to repeat header row information if your table
    extends more than one page.


Accessibility Checker

  • Use the built-in Accessibility Checker in Word.
  • The checker will scan for errors and provide tips on how to fix them.