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Brooklyn College Library & Academic IT | Library Guides

Instructional Guides on Creating Accessible OER: Word Documents

Learn how to use LibGuides, WordPress, Scalar, Manifold, Word, Adobe Acrobat Pro

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Word Documents

Word Best Practices

  • When creating word documents it is best to use the built in STYLES to structure and organize your document.
  • Use HEADINGS to structure and organize your document.
  • Include ALT TEXT (alternative text) for images, tables, and charts and graphs. Also include captions for charts and graphs.
  • Don't use tables for layout.
  • Keep tables simple.
  • Don't use tabs or spaces to create columns. Instead, use the PAGE LAYOUT/COLUMNS feature.
  • Use descriptive hypertext links, don't use hyperlink text like "click here"
  • Use bulleted and numeric lists for related items.
  • Include a table of contents for long documents (which Word can generate if you use styles).
  • Be cautious as to the colors you choose.
  • Provide sufficient color contrast and don't use color to solely convey meaning.

Word Accessibility Check

Run Accessibility Checker

The Accessibility Checker is a great tool to check for problems in your Word document. It points out things such as missing alt text (alternative text), missing table row headers, unclear hyperlink text, and more. It provides instructions on how to fix any items that have been flagged as inaccessible.

There are slightly different instructions on using the Accessibility Checker depending on whether you are on a PC or using a Mac.

PC Instructions:

  1. Open up your word document.
  2. Select the "File" tab
    • This will take you to the "Info" section
  3. Click the "Check for Issues" button in the "Inspect Document" area
  4. In the drop down menu select "Check Accessibility".

Mac Instructions:

  1. Open up your word document.
  2. Select "Review" tab in the document ribbon.
  3. Select "Check Accessibility" in the review ribbon.

or you can

  1. Open up your word document.
  2. Select "Tools" in the word ribbon.
  3. Select "Check Accessibility" in drop down menu.

Read Inspection Results:

  • A pane will appear on the right hand side of your word document.
  • The review panel provides a list of errors and warnings that it found in the document.
  • Under the errors section, click on an item.
  • Word navigates to the item in error.

Additional Information in Inspection Results Pane:

  • Information is given explaining why the item needs to be fixed and how to fix the error.
  • Under the warnings section, click on an item.
  • Fix the errors and warnings as appropriate.

Video Instructions: Word

Windows Instructions
Here is a brief video walking you through the steps to run the word "Accessibility Checker" on your windows computer.

Attribution: [Lora Duvall] (2016, Aug.25) How to Check Accessibility in a Microsoft Word Document[Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/GaNwnsT4B5s

Mac Instructions
Here is a brief video walking you through the steps to run the word "Accessibility Checker" on your Mac computer.


Attribution: [RSCC_CTAT] (2017, Oct. 5) MS Word Accessibility Checker - Mac Device [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/sIpWh2_9Mx0