Creating Accessible Microsoft Word and Excel Files
Creating Accessible Microsoft Files Word and Excel Covered in this Training 1. Basic Web Content and Electronic File Accessibility Standards to Keep in Mind 2. Accessibility Instructions by File Type Microsoft Word Microsoft Excel 3. Helpful Resources
Basic Web Content and Electronic File Accessibility Standards to Keep in Mind General Best Practices 1. Provide a descriptive title 1. Apply color sparingly 2. Use appropriate language for the 2. Use Standard Fonts, Font Sizes, and audience
Paragraph Spacing 3. Arrange a clear document structure 3. Use Proper Bullets, Number Formatting, and Columns 4. Provide alternative text for visual content 5. Write descriptive labels for links What is a descriptive title? Titles identify the current location without requiring users to read or interpret page content. When working with a document, the following should be considered:
Apply the document title at the document properties level. This update can be done on all Microsoft file types. Dont use underscores or any other symbols that would slow down / hinder the overall experience. Include all punctuation that would improve the overall experience, such as commas and date separators. The introduction page has a title that describes the point of the document, such as "Introduction to Understanding WCAG 2.0." Major sections of the document are pages titled "Understanding Guideline X" and "Understanding Success Criterion X." Appendices have clear, distinctive titles such as "Glossary or Acknowledgements.
Using appropriate language While this is a basic standard of web and document development, its key to remember when thinking about accessibility. Can someone using assistive technology, follow along with the level of content youve provided? 1. Avoid using abbreviations, jargon, complex language, or any content that might confuse the reader unless necessary. If this content must be included, provide definitions for abbreviations and jargon, as well as extra resources for further comprehension of complex language or topics. 2. Remember to review content for spelling, grammatical errors, and readability. 3. Content may also be used to supplement images and tables when possible.
Arrange a clear document structure A uniform heading structure is often the most important accessibility consideration in Word documents. When encountering a lengthy Word document, sighted users often scroll the page quickly and look for big, bold text (headings) to get an idea of its structure and content. Screen reader and other assistive technology users also have the ability to navigate Word documents by heading structure, assuming Word's Heading styles are used. Well go over how this structure takes shape in the Microsoft Word section.
Applying a file title 1. Click the File menu item. A window will appear to the right with the files properties. 2. Click on the field value youd like to update. In this example, the Title field has a value of Slide1 so you would want to click on Slide1 to edit the Title name. Update the title
to a descriptive name such as 2015 Financial Aid Report, Version 3. Concerning images Consider the following question: Is the image easy to read? High resolution? Good color contrast? Could the image distract the user? If someone cant see the image, did you provide information regarding that image whether through short, succinct alt text (140 characters or less) or through a detailed description below the image (good for graphs and other
complex displays). Best practices for alternative text Alternative text should: Be accurate and equivalentpresent the same content or function as the image. Be succinctno more than a few words are necessary; rarely a short sentence or two may be appropriate. NOT be redundantdo not provide information that is in the surrounding text. NOT use descriptive phrasesscreen reading software identifies images, so do
not use phrases such as "image of..." or "graphic of..." Context is everything Write descriptive labels for links Avoid uninformative link phrases As mentioned previously, links are more useful when they make sense out of context. Authors should avoid non-informative link phrases such as click here, here, more, read more. In fact, the phrase "click here" is unnecessary, even if it precedes a more meaningful phrase. For example, a link that says "click here to access today's
weather" can be shortened to "today's weather." Dont Use URLs as Links Web addresses, or URLs, present two types of challenges: Readability Length URLs are not always human-readable or screen-reader friendly. Many URLs contain combinations of numbers, letters, ampersands, dashes, underscores, and other characters that make sense to scripts and databases but which make little or no sense to the average person. In most cases, it is better to use
human-readable text instead of the URL. Alt Text for Images and Link Appearance Alternative text for images used as links When images are used as links, the alternative text performs the function of link text. As with linked text, the alt text of linked images does not need to inform users that the link is a link, since this is already presented. Link Appearance Links should look like links, and nothing else should. Users may get frustrated if they try to click on textual phrases or graphics that look like links but are not.
They will also be frustrated if they have to move their mouse all over the page trying to discover links that do not look like links. Recommendation: Use bold or italics to emphasize content. Apply color sparingly Make sure that colors are not your only method of conveying important information. If the purpose of posting the image is to communicate something about the colors in that image, then it is important to provide some other way of understanding the information. Why its essential to consider conveying information in both color and
another means when using color. Reds and greens are often indistinguishable for those who are color blind. Other colors may be indistinguishable depending on the color blindness. Use Standard Fonts and Font Sizes Font Types Font Sizes When it comes to electronic documents, For most documents, body text should
the most readable fonts are: be 11 points or higher. Georgia Tahoma Verdana Other reasonably legible fonts are: Arial Calibri Accessibility Instructions for Microsoft
Word Word Basic Heading Rules Builds an automated table of contents and structures the document for screen readers. Pages should be structured in a hierarchical manner: Heading 1 is the document title. It is the most important heading, and there is generally just one. Heading 2 is a major section heading. Heading 3 is a sub-section of the Heading 2 and so on, ending with
Heading 6. Word Applying Proper Headers Apply built-in heading styles to content 1. Select the text you would like to make into a heading. 2. On the Home tab, in the Styles group, select a heading style, for example, Heading 1 or Heading 2.
NAVIGATION PANE 1. In the Navigation pane, click the Headings tab. 2. To go to a heading in your document, click that heading in the Navigation pane. 3. Organize and manipulate your document through the Headings tab. 4. Helps ensure accessibility. Table of Contents (TOC) 1. Navigate to the toolbar and activate the References tab. 2. Locate the Table of Contents pane.
3. Select the Table of Contents button. 4. Select one of the Automatic or Manual table options from the menu. 5. Confirm a Table of Contents structure appears in the document. Using True Columns 1. Navigate to the Layout tab and click Columns. 2. Click the layout that you want.
Word - Making hyperlinks Add hyperlink text and ScreenTips 1. Select the text to which you want to add the hyperlink, and then right-click. 2.
Select Hyperlink. The text you selected displays in the Text to display box. This is the hyperlink text. If necessary, change the hyperlink text. 3. In the Address box, enter the destination address for the hyperlink.
4. Select the ScreenTip button and, in the ScreenTip text box, type a ScreenTip. Word Image Types and Alternate Text Image Types Alternate text is required for the following image types in Word: pictures illustrations
images of text shapes charts SmartArt Embedded objects Alt Text Options There are two ways to apply alternate text in Word: 1. Use the Description field in the Alt Text field, OR 2. Provide information about the content or function of the image in the
surrounding text. Word Alt Text for Images Adding Alt Text Images, SmartArt Graphics, and Charts 1. Right-click an image or graph. 2. Select Format Picture, SmartArt, or Chart > Layout & Properties. 3. Select Alt Text. 4. Enter the Alternate Text in the
Description field, not the Title field. Word Alt Text for Tables Add alt text to tables 1. Right-click a table. 2. Select Table Properties. 3. Select the Alt Text tab. 4. Enter the Alternate Text in the Description field, not the Title field.
Word Adding Table Headers Adding Table Headers 1. Position the cursor anywhere in a table. 2. On the Table Tools Design tab, in the Table Style Options group, select the Header Row check box. Word Associating Headers with Rows 1. Right click the table in the Header Row.
2. Select Table Properties. 3. The Table Properties popup window will open. 4. Select the Row tab. 5. Select the Repeat as Header Row at the top of each page checkbox. 6. Select the Ok button. Running the Word Accessibility Checker 1. Select the File menu. The File menu will open defaulted to the Info tab. 2. On the Info tab, select the Check for Issues button in the Inspect Document section. A sub-menu will open.
3. Select the Check Accessibility sub-menu item. The accessibility check will run and a window will appear to the right of your spreadsheet with any issues that were identified. Accessibility Instructions for Microsoft Excel Excel Best Practices
Write clear and meaningful row and column labels Include a title before any set of data Give all sheet tabs unique names and remove blank sheets Avoid merging cells and blank cells Ensure your header is in one row (the title of your data set should reside above the table, not in the header as an extra row)
Ensure the language of the document has been set so the screen reader can interpret it correctly No worries, formulas, filters, and pivot tables are A-Okay! Excel Alt Text for Images Adding Alt Text to Images, Shapes, or Charts Right-click an image. 1. Select Format Picture, Shape, or Chart Area > Size & Properties.
2. Select Alt Text. 3. Enter the Alternate Text in the Description field, not the Title field. Excel Alt Text for Pivot Tables Adding Alt Text to Pivot Tables 1. Right-click the pivot table.
2. Select Pivot Table Options > Alt Text. 3. Enter the Alternate Text in the Description field, not the Title field. Excel Alt Text for Tables
Add alt text to tables 1. Right-click a table. 2. Select Table > Alternative Text. 3. Enter the Alternate Text in the Description field, not the Title field. Excel Hyperlinks Add hyperlink text and ScreenTips 1. Right-click a cell. 2. Select Hyperlink.
3. Enter the Text to display. 4. In the Address box, enter the destination address for the hyperlink. 5. Select the ScreenTip button and, in the ScreenTip text box, type a ScreenTip. Excel Table Headers Use headers in an existing table
1. Specify a header row in a block of cells marked as a table. 2. Position the cursor anywhere in a table. 3. On the Table Tools Design tab, in the Table Style Options group, select the Header Row check box. 4. Type column headings. You can also use the Style section under the Home tab to Format as Table. You will receive a pop up window with the My table has headers checkbox defaulted as selected. Keep this checkbox at the default and your top row will be identified as a header.
Running the Excel Accessibility Checker 1. Select the File menu. The File menu will open defaulted to the Info tab. 2. On the Info tab, select the Check for Issues button in the Inspect Workbook section. A sub-menu will open. 3. Select the Check Accessibility sub-menu item. The Excel accessibility check will run and a window will appear to the right of your spreadsheet with any issues that were identified. Bonus Section: Did You Knows of PowerPoint
Selection Pane If you are customizing your slides, ensure your content reads in the correct order. For example, if you add custom images to the right of a main content placeholder, Microsoft may throw them in a the top of the reading order: 1. On the Home tab, select the Arrange menu item. 2. Select the Selection Pane sub-menu item. The Selection pane will open to the right. 3. Drag and drop content in the panel to rearrange it. Note that content you want to come first should be a the bottom of the panel list and so on.
Tables Unfortunately, the table functionality in PowerPoint leaves much to desire (there is no way to associate values with the column header). If using tables, consider creating your presentation in Microsoft Word in landscape format to keep the presentation effect or convert your PowerPoint to a PDF and tag the table information in Adobe. Animations Animations unfortunately conflict with screen readers and cause both
navigation issues as well as reading order issues. Do to this fact, we recommend not using animations to delay the appearance of content on slides that will be used by a wide audience. You can always create a presenter version for your live demo but should never distribute that version to participants. Helpful Resources Web Accessibility in Mind (WebAIM) Articles Microsoft Office Accessibility Articles
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