Accessible Documents

How to create accessible documents in Word

The following text guidelines can be implemented once the accessibility structuring features on the ADOD site have been applied.


  • Use font sizes between 12 and 18 points for body text.
  • Use fonts of normal weight, rather than bold or light fonts. If using bold fonts for emphasis, do so sparingly.
  • Avoid text set in all caps, italic, or underlined.
  • Use standard fonts. Sans serif fonts (e.g. Arial or Verdana) may be easier to read than serif fonts (e.g. Times New Roman).
  • Use normal or expanded character spacing, rather than condensed spacing.
  • Avoid animated or scrolling text.
  • Ensure there is sufficient contrast between text and background (testing tools are available online).
  • Avoid using coloured text alone. Combine colour with another typographic feature such as bold text or quotation marks.
  • Avoid using images of text, opting for text itself.

Use of Text

  • Write clearly using plain language.
  • Avoid jargon and specialized terminology.
  • Spell out abbreviations and acronyms in full when using them for the first time.
  • Keep the design simple and uncluttered, using lots of white space.
  • Avoid too many different colours, fonts and images.
  • Ensure consistency of style (e.g. headings, footers) if repeated within a document or a set of documents.
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