Create more accessible Word documents

Improve header accessibility

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Headings are a great way to tell people what they need to know quickly. Learn how to use styles for headings to make your documents easier to navigate.

To add a heading style

  1. Type the text you want into a Word document.

  2. Select a sentence that you want to add a header to.

  3. Select Home > Styles (or press Alt + H, then L), and then select the heading you want, such as the Heading 1 button.

Word applies a font and color change to help make it clear that this is a title -- the Heading 1 of the article. The next heading type is a Heading 2.

Want More?

Accessibility Checklist for Word 2016 (hosted on Docs.com)

Accessibility in Office 365

Clear, well-formatted headings can go a long way toward making sure your Word documents meet global accessibility standards.

Many people use screen readers to create a list of headings, so they can skim the document to find the content they want.

"Heading List Dialog, Headings List View, Reports Scope: 1, 1 of 9."

But this type of navigation works only when the document’s author uses heading styles.

Screen readers and text-to-speech tools are programmed to recognize them.

To add a heading style to text in Word, select the text, choose the Home tab in the ribbon, and in the Styles box, pick the heading style you want.

When you save your document in another format for download, such as HTML or PDF, Word retains the headings styles, so everyone can still get the benefits of your headings.

And remember, when you’re writing headings, keep them short, specific to the information that follows them, and clear to someone new to the topic.

For more tips on creating accessible content, visit aka.ms/accessible.

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