Create Accessible Word Documents


Use Heading Styles in the Home tab instead of a paragraph in a different font.

Heading styles in the Home tab

Customize each heading by right-clicking the heading style.

Right-click on a heading style to modify it.


Use Lists in the Home tab instead of tabbing and using a bullet.

Use Lists in the Home tab.

  • Use a bulleted list for an unordered list.
  1. Use a numbered list for an ordered sequence.



Use Table in the Insert tab instead of tabbing to create a table.

Use the Table took in the Insert tab.


Insert rows and columns by clicking on the table to get the Table Layout tab.

Add columns and rows in the Table Layout tab.

Delete rows and columns by clicking on the table to get the Table Layout tool.

The delete button in the Table Layout tool.



Use unique meaningful link titles, not “click here” or the URL.

Practice tests for chapter 3

Admissions information


Add alternative text to images to convey their meaning to people who can't see them.

  1. Click on an image
  2. Select the Picture Format tab
  3. Select Layouts & Properties in the Format Picture pane 
  4. Enter the image description in the Description box

The Format Picture pane



Use Columns in the Layout tab to create columns instead of using tab.

Use Columns in the Layout tab

Accessibility Statement (for syllabi)

The Accessibility Statement is required for all NIU syllabi.

Check Accessibility

Check Accessibility in the Review tab finds accessibility issues and shows how to fix them.

Check Accessibility button in the Review tab

Don’t see Check Accessibility?

  1. Click File
  2. Choose Info
  3. Select Check for Issues
  4. Select Check Accessibility
  5. Accessibility Checker pane displays next to your content


Do not convert a document to PDF until you have considered:

  • HTML is the most accessible format.
  • Word is the next most accessible format.
  • PDF prints well but will this document be printed?
  • The digital version of your Word document is secure. If someone presents a different version, it has been tampered with. Your digital version is the correct version. 

To make a PDF accessible, you need Adobe Acrobat.

  1. In Tools, choose Accessibility
  2. Click Full Check, then Enter
  3. Accessibility issues display in the left pane
  4. Recommended: Click Autotag Document to ensure a screen reader reads the document in logical order

A PDF of a scanned document is inaccessible because a scan is an image.