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Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 1 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Word 2010: Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Contents 
Word 2010: Creating Accessible Word Forms ........................................................................................................... 1
Introduction ............................................................................................................................................................ 1
Form Specifications ................................................................................................................................................ 2
File Type .............................................................................................................................................................. 2
Zoom Level ......................................................................................................................................................... 2
Form Margins ..................................................................................................................................................... 2
Table Layout ....................................................................................................................................................... 2
Borders ................................................................................................................................................................ 4
Row Height ......................................................................................................................................................... 5
Headers ............................................................................................................................................................... 5
Top Row .............................................................................................................................................................. 5
Section Headings ................................................................................................................................................ 6
Footer .................................................................................................................................................................. 6
Creating Form Inputs ............................................................................................................................................. 7
Legacy Form Tools ............................................................................................................................................. 7
Help Text............................................................................................................................................................. 8
Form Prompts ..................................................................................................................................................... 9
Protecting the Form ............................................................................................................................................. 10
Summary .............................................................................................................................................................. 10
Introduction 
This module covers how to create accessible forms in Microsoft Word. The general strategy is to use a table 
layout, and populate the form with text inputs from the Legacy Form Tools. Add help text to the form field 
inputs, and lock the form to allow the user to tab through the inputs. This method consistently works with all 
tested assistive technologies. We offer a more detailed explanation.  
A cautionary note to those who frequently create forms using Word:  
Form fields created using ActiveX Controls and Content Controls do not work properly with current 
assistive technology. 
ZoomText does not always track Word checkboxes. 
Forms with columns do not tab properly in a protected form. 
Radio buttons or other form elements may not work correctly with various assistive technologies. 
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Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 2 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Form Specifications 
File Type 
For a Word form template, use the “.dotx” extension. Otherwise use “.doc” or “.docx”. 
Zoom Level 
Set the magnification level to at least 100% to accommodate low-vision users. Microsoft Word opens to this by 
default. 
Form Margins 
From the Page Layout Tab, go to Page Setup, and select Margins or Custom Margins. Adjust Header 
and Footer margins if necessary. 
Table Layout 
From Insert, select Table, and then choose Insert Table and select the row and column dimensions of the 
table you want. The table width can be adjusted in Table Properties  
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Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 3 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
VB.NET PDF: How to Create Watermark on PDF Document within
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Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 4 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Borders 
Use borders to distinguish rows.  With a table or cell selected, go to the Table Tools area of the Ribbon, choose 
the Design tab and click on Borders. 
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C# Word - Word Conversion in C#.NET
Word documents in .NET class applications independently, without using other external third-party dependencies like Adobe Acrobat. Word to PDF Conversion.
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Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 5 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Row Height 
In Table Properties, select the Row tab. Set Height to at least, to allow for row expansion when responses 
are entered. 
Headers 
Do not use page headers. It is difficult for screen-readers to read the content. When necessary, you may use 
repeating table headers.  
Top Row 
Use a top row for logo, form title, or date. Add a form text field to include this information. 
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C# Excel - Excel Conversion & Rendering in C#.NET
Excel documents in .NET class applications independently, without using other external third-party dependencies like Adobe Acrobat. Excel to PDF Conversion.
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Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 6 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Section Headings 
Use section headings to change subject content and to help a low-vision user quickly find a particular section. 
When creating a section heading row, use: 
single row . 
Black shading, dark borders, or another method to indicate that the row contains a header. This helps 
low-vision users identify the beginning and end sections of the form. 
Bold text that contrasts with the row shading. For example, if you have black shading, use white text. 
Arabic numbers for easier navigation. Avoid Roman numerals. 
Footer 
Footer content and design should be specified in your agency’s style guide. For example, the footer could 
include a form number, publication date, title, and page number.  
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Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 7 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Creating Form Inputs 
Legacy Form Tools 
The Legacy Form Tools, located on the Productivity or Accessibility tab, are used to create the Text 
Form Field. Enter data in the Status Bar, which is limited to 128 characters or less. Otherwise, you can use 
the Help Key or F1 edit boxes, which contain up to 256 characters.   
Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 8 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Help Text 
Informational text is used to convey information, instructions, or questions related to form prompts to users. 
The screen-reader software only reads text from the form field prompts within locked sections of a form. To 
create inputs that provide informational text, set the input size to one character, and preface the help text with 
“Info.”  
Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 9 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Form Prompts 
Form prompts let users know what information to enter. They should match the visual wording of the form. 
If the prompt is too long to fit in the Status bar or F1, edit the prompt but maintain the meaning.   
Acceptable methods for shortening input text include: 
Substituting symbols for words. 
Using Arabic numbers instead of written numbers. 
Shortening words with contractions. 
Using acronyms or abbreviations (use spaces between letters). 
The last form field prompt should contain the words “end of form” to let users know they have reached the end 
of the form. Otherwise, after completing the final input, and pressing the tab key, they are returned to the top 
of the form. 
Microsoft Office 2010 Project
Creating Accessible Word Forms 
Page 10 of 10 
Last Modified: 8/15/2012 11:07:00 PM 
12-WordForms.docx 
Protecting the Form 
When you have completed the form, lock the document to protect it. From the Productivity Ribbon, select 
Protect Document. Next, click the boxes “Allow only this type of editing in the document” and then  “filling 
in form.” From Start enforcement, click “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.” Finally, close and save the 
form. 
Summary 
This concludes our module on creating accessible Word forms.  We’ve discussed creating the form from a table, 
and the specifications of forms, including borders and row height.  We also discussed creating form inputs, 
including adding help text and prompts. Finally, we discussed protecting the form. 
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