Make your templates more accessible for users with disabilities

To use your templates, many customers will rely on ease of access features or devices such as screen readers and high contrast settings. They may also rely on display settings such as large fonts and icons. As you develop templates, keep these accessibility guidelines in mind.

To learn more about accessibility issues and solutions, visit the Microsoft Accessibility web site.

Page layout

As you develop a template:

  • To improve readability, try to leave enough with white space between columns, images, and paragraphs of text on a page.
  • Consider using indentation, bullets, and numbers to make your text easier to follow.

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Alternate text (alt text)

 Important   Add alt text to all pictures in your templates (except for AutoShapes).

Make sure that alt text:

  • Does not need to be viewed with the picture to make sense
  • Is as concisely worded as possible and does not exceed 100 characters
  • Is a sentence fragment, not a sentence; capitalize the first word only
  • Does not include ending punctuation or bold or italic formatting
  • Does not begin with an article or the phrase ''picture of''

 Note    In Office 2010, you can now add a description to tables, PivotTables, images, shapes, and other objects, similar to a second level of alternative (ALT) text. Use this feature to describe complex content in your templates to readers who cannot see those objects.

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Font size

When choosing fonts for use in template styles:

  • As a general rule, avoid font sizes smaller than 10 points.
  • To see if your text is accessible, test your templates using Windows accessibility features such as large fonts, high contrast settings, and a magnifier. For more information about using accessibility features, see Help and Support on your computer (available from your Start menu).

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Color schemes

If you create customized theme color palettes:

  • Keep in mind that light or pale font colors (such as light blue) on light backgrounds (such as soft yellow) can make it difficult for some customers to see the text.
  • To make sure that your text is accessible to most users, we recommend that you test the color schemes in your templates by viewing them while using high-contrast settings.

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Check for accessibility issues with Accessibility Checker

Word 2010, Excel 2010, and PowerPoint 2010 include an Accessibility Checker that helps you find and fix areas in your template that have accessibility issues. Before submitting your template, run Accessibility Checker and review those areas it identifies as challenging for users with disabilities to view or use. For more information, see Accessibility Checker and Accessibility Checker Rules.

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Access 2007, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Publisher 2007, Word 2007