Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Accessible Word Documents

Key points to consider

Provide information

The properties you apply to a document provide valuable information to your user as soon as they access the file. Adding information such as document title, author, keywords and setting the language are all important accessibility features. In Word 2013 these fields can be accessed by the following paths:

File > Info> Properties > Show Document Panel

Enter information to the 'Author' and 'Title' Fields

File > Options > Language

Select 'English' from the dialogue under the 'Choose Editing Languages' heading

Check your content

  • Use Styles to provide an easily managed structure to your document
  • Provide alternate text for your images, graphs and diagrams
  • Avoid using floated objects such as text boxes and images
  • Include background shading on graphs - don't rely on colour alone for your key
  • Use the columns tool to organise text
  • Only use tables for organising data, not for page layout.
  • Make sure your links have meaningful titles
  • Check the contrast of coloured text
  • Include a table of contents in long documents
  • Avoid image based watermarks

Accessibility Checking

Office 2013 has an in-built accessibility checker that can highlight potential issues with your document. The checker can be found on the following path:

File > Info > Check for Issues > Check for Accessibility

The check includes clear instructions on how to fix any issues it returns.