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Document Accessibility Checklist

Checklist (pdf)

Guideline: files such as Microsoft Office documents and PDF's should be accessible.

 

Accessible Documents presentation


Microsoft Office

Use the Accessibility Checker

On Mac: go to the Review tab, Check Accessibility for report.

On Windows: go to File, Info. Click the Check for Issues button.


Word

Resource: Make your Word documents accessible from Microsoft Office Support

Best Practices:

    • Add Alt Text to visuals and tables. 
    • Make hyperlink text meaningful -- it should give accurate information about the destination.
    • Colors should not communicate information non-sighted users can't see.
    • Text is high contrast from backgrounds.
    • Use headings and styles accurately. For example: Heading 1, 2, 3 instead of Heading 3, 2, 1.


PowerPoint

Resource: Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible from Microsoft Office Support

Best Practices:

    • Add Alt Text to visuals and tables. 
    • Make hyperlink text meaningful -- it should give accurate information about the destination.
    • Colors should not communicate information non-sighted users can't see.
    • Text is high contrast from backgrounds.
    • Every slide should have a unique title.
    • Check the reading order of slide elements. Go to Home, Arrange, Selection Pane to reorder elements.
      powerpoint selection pane
    • Use simple tables and use column headers. Empty or merged cells confuse screen readers.
    • Use larger fonts (18pt or larger), san-serif fonts, white space, and avoid all caps.


Excel

Resource: Make your Excel spreadsheets accessible from Microsoft Office Support

Best Practices:

    • Add Alt Text to visuals and tables. 
    • Make hyperlink text meaningful -- it should give accurate information about the destination.
    • Sheet tabs should have unique names. Delete blank sheets.
    • Use simple tables and use column headers. Empty or merged cells confuse screen readers. 

 

Adobe PDF

ResourcePDF Accessibility from WebAIM

Note: if your PDF is a scanned document, you must go to Tools, Recognize Text before you create an accessible PDF.

In Adobe Acrobat X or higher, open the Accessibility panel by clicking the Show or Hide Panels box (top right icon) and Accessibility:

Adobe Open Accessibility Panel

To add/edit Alt Text to figures (images), select the Touchup Reading Order Tool.

Right-click the figure and click Edit Alternate Text.

Adobe Add Alt Text with Touchup Tool

To edit the content order of a page, click the Show Order Panel button.

If items are out of order (when read out loud), click and drag items to rearrange content order.

Adobe Show Order Panel

 

To edit document tags, open the Tags pane. Go to View, Show/Hide, Navigation Panes, Tags.

Adobe Tag Pane

Expand the tree structure to view the tags. 

To highlight a tag, right click on a tag and click Highlight Content. Now when you click a tag, it will highlight in the document.

Adobe Acrobat highlight content

To find a tag, click the selection tool and highlight the text. Click the Options icon, and click Find Tag from Selection.

Adobe Find Tag from Selection

If no tag exists, add one. Select the Touchup Reading Order tool in the Accessibility panel.

Draw a box around the text.

Adobe Drag Box to tag

Click the Tag you want to add.

Adobe click tag to add tag

Now you'll see the tag in the Tags panel.

Adobe added tag complete

To change the tag type, right-click the tag and go to Properties.

Change the Tag Type by selecting one from the dropdown list.

 

Use the Accessibility Checker

Go to Tools, Accessibility, Full Check and Adobe will guide you through the process. You'll receive a report at the end with suggestions for improvement.

 

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