Word 2007 – Best Practices for Authoring Structured & Accessible Documents
QUICK TIPS TO ACCESSIBLE WORD PROCESSING DOCUMENTS
When done correctly, the document ensures correct reading-order and allows it to reflow to fit
the display when the magnification or display size is changed.
Place content in logical reading order. This is fundamental to creating accessible
Do not use TAB, Spacebar and Enter keys to format for tables, columns, lists etc.
Use the application's built-in features to encode semantic structure (headings, paragraphs,
lists, sections, headers/footers, tables, columns, forms etc.).
Define and use styles to format structural elements like headings, paragraphs etc. to control
typography and layout.
Use standard fonts. Do not use fonts that do not map to Unicode, for example Wingdings.
Avoid complex layout, sidebars and other ornamentation as they make it difficult to maintain
a logical reading order.
Avoid placing content in drawing-canvases or text-boxes as these are floating objects and
flow to the bottom of a page's reading-order.
Group multiple graphic elements (created by drawing tools, charts etc) into one image.
Provide alternative text descriptors for all non-textual elements (graphs, images, illustration,
pictures, multimedia, etc) that provide essential information.
Ensure that all navigation and interactivity can be performed using the keyboard.
OTHER RESOURCES OR TRAINING
1. Microsoft Online – Create an accessible Office document
2. Microsoft Online Tutorial – Creating Lists, using bullets, numbers, and other
3. Accessibility/Universal Design Toolkit from Accessible Technology Initiative
(ATI) website: http://www.csun.edu/accessibility/aticoordinators/access_ud_toolkit.html
has additional resources. Each collage has an ATI coordinator to assist you. You will
find a listing on http://www.csun.edu/accessibility/aticoordinators.html.
This manual is an introduction to accessibility coding in Microsoft Word 2007 and Adobe
Acrobat 8.0. Any further questions can be answered by consulting Microsoft Office and Adobe