Accessible Document Basics

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Document basics

  1. Use proper heading styles:
  1. Make sure that text can be selected, copied and pasted into another location; for example, do not embed or design text in an image (see point 5).
  2. Write meaningful link text (text that links to a web address) that describes its destination. It needs to make sense when it is read out of context.
  1. Use bullets or numbered lists to help people scan your content and quickly find what they need. Use the list styles so that screen readers (and those that use them) know that it is a list. Don't add spaces and dashes manually.
  2. Add appropriate alternative text (alt text) if possible – or a full text alternative if the image conveys information not otherwise available.
  1. Use bulleted lists instead of tables where you can.
  1. Don't use colour alone to convey meaning (many people are colour blind). If using text on a coloured background or image background, you need to check its colour contrast. There are online tools available to help you check colour contrast:
  1. Fonts and styles can make a big difference to how accessible your information is.
  1. Use these Plain English techniques to help you edit your draft texts and documents. Editing your text into plain English will make it clearer and more concise; this helps everyone quickly understand your message and is especially helpful to assistive technology users and those with dyslexia.
  2. Check the accessibility of your work for example using the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office.

Further information

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