Tips for creating accessible Web sites

When you plan your Web site, it is also important to think about how to make your Web site accessible (accessibility: The quality of a given system of hardware or software that makes it usable by people with one or more physical disabilities, such as restricted mobility, blindness, or deafness.) to a broad range of visitors, including those with disabilities. There are several things that you can do in Microsoft Publisher to make your Web site more accessible to people with disabilities, who may have to use accessibility aids (accessibility aids: Utilities that make computers easier to use for people with disabilities. Examples of accessibility aids include screen readers, speech recognition programs, and on-screen keyboards.) to operate a computer.

The following tips list some things that you can do to create an accessible Web site:

ShowCreate alternative text for graphics or pictures

Alternative text is useful for people who turn off graphics or who use screen readers. Create alternative text (alternative text: Used by Web browsers to display text during image downloads for users who have graphics turned off and for users who rely on screen-reading software to convert graphics on the screen to spoken words.) for the graphics (graphic: A nontext design element, such as a photograph, drawing, or shape.) that you use on your Web site.

ShowHow?

  1. Right-click the graphic for which you would like to create alternative text, and then click Format <object type>.
  2. Click the Web tab.
  3. Under Alternative text, type a brief description of your graphic.

ShowUse navigation bars

Create a navigation bar to help your users locate information on your Web site. Navigation bars are available only if you are working on a Web publication.

ShowHow?

  1. On the Insert menu, point to Navigation Bar, and then click New.
  2. In the Design Gallery dialog box, on the Objects by Category tab, click the navigation bar design that you want.
  3. Click Insert Object.
  4. In the Create New Navigation Bar dialog box, type a name for the navigation bar in the Name box.
  5. Under Insert Options, do one of the following:
    • To insert the navigation bar on each of the existing pages of your publication, click Insert on every page.
    • To insert the navigation bar on only the current page, click Insert on this page only.
  6. Under Automatic update, do one of the following:
    • To update the navigation bar with links to all of the existing pages in the publication, select the check box Update this navigation bar with links to existing pages in this publication, and then click OK.
    • To specify which pages should be linked on the navigation bar, clear the check box Update this navigation bar with links to existing pages in this publication, and then specify which pages you want to link in the Navigation Bar Properties dialog box.

ShowHow?

  1. In the Navigation Bar Properties dialog box, click Add Link.
  2. In the Add Link dialog box, under Link to, click Place in this Document.
  3. Under Select a place in this document, click the page that you want to link to the navigation bar.
  4. In the Text to display box, type the text that you want to appear on the navigation bar, and then click OK.
  5. In the Navigation Bar Properties dialog box, click OK.

Publisher adds links to the navigation bar for all of the pages that are set to be linked to new navigation bars.

 Note   Navigation bars with buttons are not accessible to users who must rely entirely upon a keyboard when using a computer. If you want to ensure that your navigation bar is accessible to a broad range of visitors, use a text-only navigation bar style.

ShowCreate form controls inline

If you want visitors to your Web site to be able to use the TAB key to move through and select the form controls (form control: On a Web site, an individual box or button with which you enter information on an electronic form.) on your Web site, you must create these form controls inline. If you create all of your form controls inline, your Web form will be accessible to those users with disabilities who must rely entirely upon the keyboard when using a computer.

ShowHow?

  1. Insert a text box in the location where you want to add form controls. Form controls are available only if you are working on a Web publication.

ShowHow?

  1. On the Objects toolbar, click Text box Button image.
  2. In your publication, point to where you want one corner of the text to appear, and then drag diagonally until you have the text box size you want.
  1. Click in the text box to get a cursor.
  2. On the Objects toolbar, click Form Control Button image, and then click the form control that you want.
  3. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have inserted all of the form controls that you want.

You can insert form controls horizontally on the same line, or you can press ENTER after inserting each form control to arrange the form controls vertically.

ShowLabel all form controls

If you have created a Web form on your Web site by adding form controls, make sure that all of the form controls have a brief text description that explains the function or purpose of the form control.

ShowCreate descriptive text for all hyperlinks

Make sure that the text for all of the hyperlinks in your Web site is descriptive. Hyperlink text should provide your visitors with a clear indication of the destination of the hyperlink.

ShowFormat your text and graphics so that the text on your Web site is easy to read

There are several steps that you can take to increase the readability of text on your Web site:

  • Make sure that the font size for the main text on your Web site is at least 10 points in size.
  • Make sure there is a high color contrast between the font colors that you use and the background color. For example, use a dark font color if your Web site has a light background color.
  • Avoid busy background patterns that might interfere with the legibility of text.
  • Use only Web fonts on your Web site. Web fonts have been designed or selected for easy screen readability.

ShowHow?

Select from the following fonts:

  • Arial
  • Arial Black
  • Comic Sans MS
  • Courier New
  • Georgia
  • Impact
  • Symbol
  • Times New Roman
  • Trebuchet
  • Verdana
  • Wingdings
 
 
Applies to:
Publisher 2003