Access for All Weekly Tip
For the week of September 3 - 7
Using Headings in Microsoft Word
A good heading structure is probably the most important accessibility consideration in the majority of Microsoft Word documents. Headings allow screen reader users to navigate through the page easily and make the page more usable for everyone. Many people do not use true styles in Word.
For example, when creating a heading, they simply change the font, enlarge the font size, make it bold, etc. If this is done, the document has no real structure that can be discerned by a screen reader.
When encountering a lengthy Word document, sighted users often scroll the page quickly and look for big, bold text (headings) to get an idea of its structure and content. Screen reader and other assistive technology users also have the ability to navigate Word documents by heading structure, assuming Word's Heading styles are used.
Pages should be structured in a hierarchical manner:
- A Heading 1 is usually a page title or a main content heading. It is the most important heading, and there is generally just one.
- A Heading 2 is usually a major section heading.
- A Heading 3 is usually a sub-section of the Heading 2.
- A Heading 4 is usually a sub-section of the Heading 3, and so on.
Call Oklahoma ABLE Tech (800-257-1705) for accommodation ideas or to borrow assistive technology. ABLE Tech’s AT Device Demonstration and Short-Term Loan Program works just like a book library. Here are some devices that relate to this article:
YouTube Video “How to Use Styles in Word 2016”
Creating Accessible Documents
Creating Word Documents which are Accessible for Screen Readers PDF
Microsoft Video “Improve Accessibility with Heading Styles”
Need funding to assist in the purchase of assistive devices? Oklahoma ABLE Tech offers a comprehensive online guide for Oklahoma Funding for AT. Additionally, ABLE Tech, in partnership with Oklahoma Assistive Technology Foundation (OkAT) and BancFirst of Stillwater, offers Financial Loans to purchase assistive technology. Several programs of funding are available, all with LOW interest rate and flexible repayment terms, as well as special qualification opportunities for applicants who might not qualify for a traditional bank loan. For questions on the Financial Loan opportunities, call Shelley Gladden for more information at 800-257-1705.
Rob Carr, Accessibility Coordinator
Linda Jaco, Associate Director for Sponsored Programs