There are often multiple ways to accomplish tasks in Word. Examples here are an effort to give you the simplest way to accomplish making your document accessible.


These tips and help are not intended to replace training, only to supplement it or serve as a reminder. For training resources, see Training Resources.

Best Practices

  • Use plain language appropriate to your audience
  • Layout your content in manageable blocks, grouping like content together
  • Use headings to structure your document
  • Use bulleted lists when possible instead of lengthy sentences
  • Choose fonts that are easily readable
  • Use a sufficiently large font size (at least 11-12 points)
  • Ensure sufficient contrast between text colors and background colors
    • Light text on dark backgrounds
    • Dark text on light background
  • Do not use color as the only way to convey meaning
  • Be careful with watermarks; they reduce contrast and impact readability
  • Use “paragraph” editor to add space before or after a paragraph
    • Avoid using the enter key to make extra spacing

Word Accessibility Basics

  1. Mark your headings by using styles and don't skip headings.
  2. Add alternative text for images.
  3. Make tables accessible by using for data only and marking the header row.
  4. Create human readable links that are understood out of context.
  5. Use the bullet and number list buttons when creating lists.
  6. Don't use the space bar or the enter key to create extra spaces.
  7. Check Accessibility.

Word Accessibility Procedures

  1. Headings and Styles
  2. Adding Alternative Text for Images
  3. Links
  4. Data Tables
  5. Lists
  6. Columns and Spacing
  7. Accessibility Checker

Start with Headings