Basic Word and PowerPoint Compliant Tips

Helpful Links:

Word–Basic formatting  (pdf)

  1. Use headingsMicrosoft Word with "Styles" highlighted..

Heading 1 for the main heading,

Sub-Heading 2

Sub-Heading 2

Sub-Heading 3

  1.  Figures :  Need alt-text for all figures that are not decorative.

Microsoft Word format picture menu hi-lighted.

  1.  Use meaningful text for hyperlinks

A bad way to hyperlink to the review for test 1 is to click here.

A good way to hyperlink to the review for test 1

  1.  Use list styles when making lists

    .image of Microsoft Word with bullets, numbering, and multi-level list highlighted.

  1. Color and Contrast: If you convey information via color you should have another way to accommodate those who are color blind.

You would not want to provide this graph and ask which line has the negative slope red or blue?

An example of a bad graph for those who are color blind. This graph shows a red line and a blue line.      An example of a better labeled graph to avoid making this question doable for those who are color blind. g(x) is decreasing as we increase values of x; f(x) is increasing for increasing values of x.

You can label the line with f and g or make one dashed.  You would also need to provide alt-text to aid those who are completely visually impaired. (e.g. g(x) is decreasing as we increase values of x; f(x) is increasing for increasing values of x.)  You could also provide some coordinate points.

  1. Tables need to be formatted correctly.

Split or merged cells are a problem for screen readers.

  1. Also avoid text boxes.  Screen readers cannot “see” these.

Microsoft Word Insert Text box shown here with a note that says to avoid using text boxes.  Microsoft Word "borders" selected and hi-lighted.

  1. Use the accessibility checker

In Microsoft Word select "File" in the upper left hand corner.   Under the info, select "Inspect Document" and select "Check Accessibility."

PowerPoint–Basic Formatting

Helpful Links

The guidelines for making a Word document accessible are very similar to making a PowerPoint accessible.  Some additions include:

  1.  Use the slide layout feature

PowerPoint screenshot of selecting New Slide from the HOME tab

  1. Any text in the notes/comments panel will not be read by screen reading software.

Image of the commenting field in a PowerPoint

  1. Use the accessibility checker

The accessibility Checker being selected from the info tab within PowerPoint

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