- Include alternative text with all visuals and tables.
- Add meaningful hyperlink text and ScreenTips.
- Ensure that color is not the only means of conveying information.
- Use sufficient contrast for text and background colors.
- Use built-in headings and styles.
- Use a simple table structure, and specify column header information.
What do those things mean?
Visual content includes pictures, clip art, SmartArt graphics, shapes, groups, charts, embedded objects, ink, and videos.
Alt text helps people who can’t see the screen to understand what’s important in images and other visuals. In alt text, briefly describe the image and mention the existence of any text within the image, as well as its intent.
When possible, avoid using text in images as the sole method of conveying important information. If you must use an image with text in it, repeat that text in the document.
- How to add alt text to images in Microsoft Word for Windows
- How to add alt text to images in Microsoft Word for Mac
- How to add alt text to shapes in Microsoft Word
- How to add alt text to SmartArt graphics in Microsoft Word
- How to add alt text to charts in Microsoft Word
- How to add alt text to tables in Microsoft Word
For more hints and guidelines for writing good alt text, visit the page Writing for Accessibility: Alt Tags and Long Descriptions.
To determine whether hyperlink text makes sense as standalone information and whether it gives readers accurate information about the destination target, visually scan your document.
People who use screen readers sometimes scan a list of links. Links should convey clear and accurate information about the destination. For example, instead of linking to the text “Click here,” include the full title of the destination page.
To find instances of color-coding, visually scan your document. People who are blind, have low vision, or are colorblind might miss out on the meaning conveyed by particular colors.
To find insufficient color contrast, look for text in your document that’s hard to read or to distinguish from the background. If your document has a high level of contrast between text and background, more people can see and use the content.
To find headings that are not in a logical order, use the Accessibility Checker.
To preserve tab order and to make it easier for screen readers to read your documents, use a logical heading order and the built-in formatting tools in Word.
- How to apply built-in heading styles in Microsoft Word
- How to use bulleted lists in Microsoft Word
- How to use ordered lists in Microsoft Word
To ensure that tables don’t contain split cells, merged cells, nested tables, or completely blank rows or columns, use the Accessibility Checker.
Screen readers keep track of their location in a table by counting table cells. If a table is nested within another table or if a cell is merged or split, the screen reader loses count and can’t provide helpful information about the table after that point. Blank cells in a table could also mislead someone using a screen reader into thinking that there is nothing more in the table. Screen readers also use header information to identify rows and columns.