On this page: Background and Purpose | Instructions | Guidelines and Standards

Lists Checkpoint (MS Word)

Background and Purpose

Properly structured lists enable users of assistive technology to assess and navigate lists. Occasionally, lists in .doc and .docx files are not properly structured. This may occur, for example, if a paragraph is inserted into the list, causing Word to start a new list after the paragraph instead of simply integrating the inserted paragraph into the previous list item.

The Purpose of this checkpoint is to ensure that lists have been properly constructed in Word.


For each of the lists shown in the Current Checkpoint panel:

  1. Select the list in the CommonLook Office panel. The corresponding list will be highlighted in the physical view of the Word document.
  2. Verify that the selected list includes all of the necessary list items.
  3. If the list items displayed in the task panel do not correctly reflect the list items in the document, edit the list and use the “Reload” button at the lower left corner of the CommonLook Office panel to reload the list checkpoint.

Screen shot showing the CommonLook Office Global Access panel to verify proper list construction. The Reload button is also highlighted.

Guidelines and Standards

This checkpoint is relevant to the following regulations, guidelines and standards:

DocumentPublishedScopeConformance Criteria
Section 508 – 2001 Regulations (USA)2001“Web-based Information & Applications”List structures are not required in the 2001 Section 508 regulations themselves, but are an industry best practice.
W3C WCAG 2.0
(REVISED SECTION 508 – 2017)
2008Web ContentSC 1.3.1
Health and Human Services – HHS (USA)2013PDF File 508 ChecklistID 5.1
ISO 14289 (PDF/UA)2012PDF TechnologySection 7.6