Microsoft Office

Microsoft has built in features that allow you to create accessible documents, check out the guidelines below for each product.

All Word or PowerPoint files should be created using these accessibility guidelines
*Please note that this is not a comprehensive list and is subject to change.


   pdf file download Microsoft Word and Powerpoint Accessibility Checklist (.pdf)



Microsoft Word

1. Simple is best

2. Minimize use of color - Important information should not be emphasized with color alone. For example, don’t say “Assignments in green are due on Wednesday and assignments in red are due on Friday.

3. Save files as .doc or .pdf so they are easily downloadable.

4. Avoid using text boxes.

5. Use Tab Key rather than Space Bar when indenting or spacing.

6. Use simple tables and designate header rows. For example, do not merge cells, split cells or embed tables within table/cells.

Text Directions   |  Video Directions  In video choose 4 @ 2:08

7. Use text to provide a clear description of a website link rather than just the URL. For example, when creating a hyperlink use text display to name the website rather than providing the URL or saying "Click here".

Text Directions

8. Provide Alt Text tags for all images and tables. For example, information should not only be provided through images. Text descriptions should be included within the image when inserting into the document.

Text Directions   |  Video Directions

9. Use Styles for consistency - For example, identify headings & subheading in document(s) using Microsoft Office Styles.

Text DirectionsVideo Directions


Additional Resources:

Directions for Making Accessible Word Documents

Accessibility Checker for Word 2010 - Video

Additional Tips for Word Documents - Video


Microsoft PowerPoint

1. Apply all MS Word Recommendations (see information above)

2. Ensure that slides are readable

· Font Type

· Font Size

· Contrast of Color

3. Avoid too much text on slide

4. Provide Alt Text tags for all images and tables. Ensure images are related to content and help communicate information

 Text Directions  |  Video Directions

5. Avoid transitions and animations

6. User Predefined slide layout whenever possible

Text Directions

7. Ensure that all slides have unique titles

Text Directions

8. Ensure that the reading order of each slide is logical

Text Directions

9. Use "Notes" for text that you may speak during lecture

10. Audio within PowerPoint

Text Direction


Additional Resources:

Accessibility Checker for PowerPoint 2010- Video

Microsoft Office Accessible Powerpoint


Buffalo State    1300 Elmwood Avenue    Buffalo, New York 14222

IT Help Desk: (716) 878-HELP (4357)    CIO's Phone: (716) 878-3694    Fax: (716) 878-3134

link to the website change form
Buffalo State logo

1300 Elmwood Avenue Buffalo NY 14222 (716) 878-4000