Background I MS Word Techniques I CommonLook Office Techniques


Sighted users perceive a document’s structure visually. Unfortunately, the information conveyed through the use of visual cues, such as a large or bold font for headings, is not available to people who are visually impaired.  Using proper styles to add structure to a document makes it not only possible for assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to convey the structural information to people with a visual impairment, but also makes it possible for the visually impaired to navigate through a document.

The following section illustrates the techniques to be used in MS Word and CommonLook Office to add style and verify its proper use.

MS Word Techniques

Picture of the Style group which is part of the Home tab in the Word ribbon. The Style group allows the user to apply a style to the selected text.The Word styles are shown in the Style group which is part of the Home tab within the Word ribbon.

In order to add structure to the document, select an appropriate style (e.g. Heading1) before inserting the text. Alternatively, you can select previously entered text and apply a style to it.

CommonLook Office Techniques

Verifying the proper use of styles is supported in a number of CommonLook Office checkpoints.

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