Document Accessibility


  • Set the language of your document.
  • If your document uses multiple languages, set all of them.
  • Avoid complex language and long sentences. You can check the complexity of your language using tools like the Hemingway Editor.

Headers and Footers

  • Do not put important information only in the header or footer.


  • Use headings to organize your document.
  • Headings must be in order, starting with Heading 1
  • Avoid using Headings 5 and 6 if possible.


  • Choose an easily readable font. Avoid cursive and decorative fonts.
  • Avoid font sizes smaller than 10 points for document text and 18 points for presentation text.
  • Avoid using visual stylings (bold, italic, underline, capitalization, etc.) to convey information.
  • Keep paragraphs brief and leave enough white space between lines and paragraphs.
  • Spell out acronyms and abbreviations the first time you use them.
  • Avoid using drop caps, superscripts, and subscripts.


  • Avoid the text “link to” or “click the link to” in link text.
  • Make sure link text is unique and can be understood out of context.
  • Make sure links are visually distinct from surrounding text.


  • Do not rely on color to convey information.
  • Make sure document colors have enough contrast.
  • Check color contrast by using tools like the WebAIM Contrast Checker

Images and Objects

  • Do not rely on visual elements to convey information.
  • Include alt text for all images.
  • If the image is decorative, add an alt text of “Decorative”.
  • Make sure alt text describes the purpose or meaning of the image.
  • Keep images inline with the text.

Graphs and Charts

  • Include alt text for graphs and charts.
  • If a long description is needed, include it in the body of the document.
  • Include data labels within the graph or chart.

Special Characters, Symbols, and Emojis

  • Avoid using special characters or symbols.
  • If you need to use them, include the name or description of the symbols next to them.
  • Emojis are accessible and okay to use.


  • Include alt text for audio files.
  • Make sure audio files allow for adjustments such as volume, playback speed, and skipping.
  • If possible, provide a download link for the audio file.
  • Divide long audio clips into chapters or sections.
  • Include a text transcript.


  • Include alt text for videos.
  • Include captions.
  • Include a text transcript.
  • Include audio descriptions.


  • If possible, include alt text for tables.
  • Avoid using tables for page layout.
  • Use the built-in Insert Table options to add tables to the document.
  • Provide a unique table name.
  • Make sure your table has 1 heading row, 1 heading column, or both.
  • Avoid multi-level headings in tables.
  • Avoid nested tables.
  • Avoid merging or splitting cells.
  • Avoid empty cells.

For Additional Information

Please visit make it accessible and to learn more about making resources accessible and how it relates to campus policy and guidelines.