Word Document Accessibility Guide

Accessible documents use styles to give consistency, have sans serif fonts, contain paragraph headings, provide descriptions for charts, graphs and tables, use phrases to describe hyperlinks, and group items into lists.


Word Heading Style screenshot

  • Use Styles to apply and format document  headings.

  • Use the bullet and numbering function for  lists (numbers if there is an order,  otherwise bullets).


Word Fonts Screenshot

  • Use a minimum 12 point font size.

  • All text should be left aligned.

  • Sans serif fonts are best.

  • Avoid large amounts of italic

  • Use sufficient contrast
    (visual presentation of text and images of text should have a contrast ration of at least 4.5:1).


Word alt text screen shot

  • Add alternative text (a narrative
    description) to images.

  • Avoid images that are text (e.g.
    scanned PDF files).

  • Use text equivalents for charts, maps, and diagrams.

  • Avoid floating items keep the default to "inline".


Word Table Screenshot

  • Tables should be used for tabular data.

  • Do not use tables for layout.

  • Avoid merging table cells.

  • One piece of data per table cell.

  • Text boxes in Microsoft Word are not accessible.

 Creative Commons BY-SA 3.0  Pictures and descriptions used from:  Accessible Digital Office Documents (ADOD) Project (Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC)) / CC BY-SA 3.0.
Creative Commons Licence Opens in new window  Accessible documents by Tom Smith, Blind Foundation is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand License .