While these tips are handy, they do not guarantee accessibility. We recommend you contact the Office of Accessibility Resources for training and consultation.
You must have the following software:
- Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint: Use Microsoft’s built-in accessibility checkers to check your documents.
- Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: Use Acrobat’s built-in accessibility checker to check your PDFs.
When creating a new document, consider avoiding certain design techniques often used in print (e.g., text boxes, call outs, images that contain text). The more heavily designed a document is, the harder it will be to make it accessible.
- Never save a document as an image-only PDF. Instead, Export to or Save as PDF; never print to PDF.
- Add a title to your PDF in Acrobat Pro under File > Properties. In Word, go to File > Properties > Summary.
- Include alt text for images.
- Use appropriate document structure when creating documents whether you plan to convert them to PDF or not.
- Use built-in headings and styles.
- Nest headings and subheadings appropriately.
- Avoid placing content inside text boxes.
- Make your hyperlink text descriptive and meaningful. Don’t name the link “Click here”, “Click on the link,” or “Read more”. Instead use the title of the destination document as the name for the link if appropriate, or some other descriptive and accurate link language.
- Use the Find feature to help you search for unmarked artifacts, content, comments, and links. This option will allow you to search the page or document and apply proper tags for the untagged items it finds.
- Create columns, lists, and tables using the appropriate column, list, and table tools.
- Do not press "return," "enter," or "tab" to add whitespace in your document. Instead, mark the text as the appropriate style (e.g., paragraph, list item, etc.) and edit the style to add the desired whitespace.
- Avoid large blocks of text. Convert to smaller, more manageable blocks of text.
- Use plain language (appropriate for the content)
- Avoid jargon and define abbreviations
- Use readable fonts and avoid fonts that are hard to read such as cursive.
- Bigger is better. Please avoid using small font sizes.
- Stick to black and white. Some individuals may have a disability that makes it difficult to see the contrast.
- Avoid the use of all CAPS which can make text difficult to read
- Avoid patterned backgrounds.
- Ensure colors have good contrast and pass the color contrast requirements.
- Avoid using color by itself to represent meaning or distinguish content (e.g., Style your links to be both underlined AND displayed in a different color).
- Use Microsoft and Acrobat accessibility checkers to verify documents. In some cases, it may be easier to recreate the original document following the above tips. Simplifying your layout will make it easier to make it accessible.
Videos & Podcasts
Pre-recorded video & audio: If you are utilizing video or audio materials, keep in mind that those items are required to have human-corrected captions. Auto captioning is not adequate and does not comply with current UNLV or NSHE policy.