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When we create documents that are accessible to all, we ensure a more inclusive experience for everyone.

People who are blind or low vision will consume documents using a screen reader, like the one built into Windows called Narrator. This video goes over several common situations you can take to create more inclusive documents. You can fix many of them by using the Accessibility Checker in Office apps. 

Alt Text

Make sure your images have Alt Text to provide context to screen readers as well as make images easier to search and find. You may find automatic descriptions, check them, and then edit when needed to describe what is seen. And it’s good to provide geographical and cultural context.

Headings

Don’t just create bold and bigger font text manually when creating a header—screen readers will read it like a sentence and not a header. Instead, select a HeadingStyle from the ribbon and get a formatted design. Headings can also help you organize your document with the Navigation Pane and make a table of contents. 

Merged cells

In Excel, the Accessibility Checker will identify Merged Cells. You can fix these tables which screen readers might repeat or skip if the cells are merged. 

Improving charts

Anyone who is colorblind will likely have challenges understanding a chart that relies solely on color. Adding Data Titles next to each part of pie chart allows information to be more inclusive. 

Pie chart with data callouts

Reading order

In the PowerPoint Accessibility Checker, verify object order then move items in the list so a screen reader will read it top to bottom, left to right. 

PowerPoint Live

When you’re in a Teams meeting and ready to present, use PowerPoint Live. It can help to make meetings inclusive for everyone with many tools including adding captions and the ability to view slides in high contrast if needed.

Want more?

Using the Accessibility Checker

Everything you need to know to write effective alt text

Use built-in headings and styles

Split merged cells

Create more accessible charts in Excel

Use a screen reader to attend a PowerPoint Live session in Microsoft Teams

Complete guide to Narrator

Accessibility in Microsoft 365

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