Consider making a webpage instead  

Ask yourself if the information you’re sharing needs to be a document or if it would be better displayed as normal page content, especially for users accessing your site on a smartphone.  

Analytics show that users who click on a document most often don’t return to the site afterwards. Use documents sparingly to ensure users stay on your site and get the information they need.  

Web Services can make webpages easily printable. Request a site edit. 

 

Best Practices for Microsoft Word 

  • Create accessible Word documents to ensure that people with disabilities have equal and integrated access to content. 
     

  • Use the built-in headings and styles to create structured headings. 

    • Do: Use heading styles to create structured headings. For example, organize headings in the prescribed logical order: Heading 1, Heading 2, Heading 3 and then Heading 4. 

    • Don’t: Use bold text or styled fonts for headings. Don’t skip hierarchical levels. 
       

  • Insert a table of contents based on the heading structure if the document is more than ten pages long. 
     

  • Some screen readers won’t detect headers and footers or page numbers. Include this information elsewhere in the document for navigation purposes. 
     

  • Add alternative text to images, such as pictures, screenshots, icons, videos and 3D models, so screen readers can read the text to describe the image to users who cannot see the image. 
     

  • Avoid text boxes, word art, background images and watermarks because these aren’t completely visible and a screen reader may not detect these in a document. 
     

  • Use a font size of 12 point or greater. 
     

  • Choose simple and perceivable fonts, such as Calibri, Arial, Tahoma and Public Sans
     

  • Use accessible text format for users who are blind, colorblind or have low vision. 

    • Do: Underline a color-coded hyperlink. 

    • Don’t: Rely on color alone to convey meaning to differentiate content. Use a method in addition to color, such as shapes, patterns, text equivalent or other visual differentiation. 
       

  • Ensure there is sufficient contrast between text and background colors, so more users can see and use the content. Use the color contrast checker, a free app that analyzes colors and contrast. 
     

  • Use text spacing and insert page break. Avoid using enter to control spacing with paragraphs. 
    ​​​​​​​

  • Add clear and meaningful hyperlink text and make sure it gives readers accurate information about the destination. Avoid using “click here,” read more” and “learn more” as the only words linked. 

  • Create bulleted lists using the Microsoft Ribbon. 
     

  • To create columns, select Layout > Columns and avoid using the tab key. 
     

  • Use a simple table structure that contains specific column header information and avoid split cells, merged cells or nested tables, as these are more difficult to navigate with a screen reader. 
    ​​​​​​​

  • Ensure your Word document is accessible for all users by using the accessibility checker

 

Microsoft Word Resources 

Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities 

Accessibility support for Word

 

Related Resources 

Using OneDrive for Website Documents 

Creating Accessible PDFs