Guidance for creating accessible Word documents

Word documents are commonly used to provide vast amounts of information to students, including documents such as module and programme handbooks. The platform of Word is an accessible one, however there are key elements to consider to ensure that the material produced is of the highest standards.

By considering the design of these documents, they can be inclusive of all methods of access. The headings below form a checklist of things to consider when creating documents using Microsoft Word. If you are unsure how to change any of the features mentioned, please click on each heading for detailed information.

1. Consider the font you use. Use a clear font type and consider size, colour and contrast

click here to find out more about the importance of font features, and how to change them

2. Make use of MS Word formatting tools to provide a clear structure. In particular, the use of heading styles and spacing options within MS Word

click here to find out more about formatting tools, and how to apply them

3. Consider when and how images are used within your documents. Also, ensure that only high quality images are used, and that alternative text and captions are provided  

click here to find out more about the use of images within word documents

4. When using hyperlinks, ensure that they have meaningful names 

click here to find out more about the importance of meaningful hyperlinks and how to use them

5. When using charts, tables and/or graphs, ensure that alternative text and captions are added 

click here to find out more about how to add alternative text and captions, and to learn of their importance