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To reach a broader online audience, follow these steps to improve the accessibility of your MS Word files.
Good alternative text describes the purpose or function of the image (decorative images do not require alternative text). In MS Word, include alternative text (alt text) with all media (pictures, charts, shapes, groups, embedded objects, etc.). Read more about writing meaningful alternative text.
To add alternative text for a picture, or image, in MS Word (Windows and Mac):
To add alternative text to charts and graphs in Word (Windows and Mac):
Heading structure is important for all users, who often scan documents (visually or with a screen reader) to orient themselves.
In MS Word, the Styles gallery adds hidden tags to headings to identify them for people using assistive technologies (such as screen readers). Always format headings using MS Word's Styles gallery, which is located on the right side of the Home tab toolbar.
To make the text a heading, highlight the text, then click the heading level you want in the Styles gallery. You can expand the gallery to see more styles. Create headings in hierarchical order--don't skip heading levels.
Similarly, lists also help organize content. Always format lists using the bulleted or numbered list buttons on the Home tab toolbar. These add hidden tags to the list to assist users of assistive technology (like screen readers).
Screen reader users can access a list of all the links in a document and can jump through a document link by link, so link text must make sense out of context:
Read more on writing meaningful link text.
Use a simple table structure, and specify table headers. Nested tables are difficult to navigate with a screen reader, so try to keep the table structure simple.
To add headers to table columns or rows:
If you prefer video over text tutorials, you may find the accessibility videos on the ASU LMS site helpful: