How Do I Create Accessible Documents?


An accessible document is one that can be used by anyone, including someone who uses assistive technology such as screen readers or screen magnifiers. Accessibility is not limited to documents on your computer. If you plan to make materials available online, consider posting the content in multiple formats, such as HTML, Word or plain text, or PDF, as these tend to be more accessible. Note that scanned PDF documents may not work well with screen readers.

Best Practices for Creating Accessible Word Documents

  • Use the included heading formats, such as Heading 1 or Heading 2, to denote the various parts of your document. This allows people using screen readers to more easily navigate the sections of your document. Learn more about how to use headings.
  • Use other formatting features, such as the included bullet styles, for making lists.
  • Include alternative text (alt text or ALT TEXT) over graphics and images. This allows screen readers to read what the image is. How to use alternative text.
  • Use the ScreenTip feature to include additional information about items in a document, such as Web links.
  • Create simple tables so that they will be recognized by assistive technologies.
  • Use color sparingly and only if you cannot indicate meaning another way, such as by using bold type or stylesheets.


Learn More about Creating Accessible Documents


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