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MICROSOFT WORD 2010
508 ACCESSIBILITY CHECKLIST

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Language settings

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Requirements for 508 compliance

Set the appropriate language for passages and phrases that use a language other than the document default. Exceptions: proper names, technical terms, or foreign words that have become part of the vernacular.


How to test

Watch video (1:10 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

Is the main language set, and are language changes set for the document?

To examine the languages in the document:

  • Open the Reveal Formatting pane: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + F

    Open the Reveal Formatting pane: SHIFT + F1

  • Select various places in the document where the default (main) language and other languages are used. Does the correct language show in the language area in the Formatting Pane?

Note: Each text element should have only one language assigned. Multiple overlapping languages are usually the result of the document's original author setting multiple languages for editing in their MS Office environment. To resolve this, one main editing language should be set when authoring original documents.


How to fix

Watch video (1:39 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

To set the language for an individual passage or phrase:

  • Select the region of text that differs to the main body of text


    Document with English and Spanish text. The Spanish text is selected.
  • On the Review Tab, in the Language Group, select Language, then Set Proofing Language.


    Selecting the menu item per instructions.
  • The Language dialog box opens.


    The same document with the Language dialog box opened. Spanish (International Sort) is selected.
  • Choose English (U.S.), or Spanish (International Sort), or other language as appropriate.

Note: The method described above is used to set the language for an individual paragraph. This method can be used to set multiple paragraphs, sections, or even the whole document. However, better results and 'cleaner' formatting can be achieved by (1) Adjusting language settings for individual styles; and (2) Setting your editing/proofing language to that of the main text in your document.


Examples

Set the appropriate language for passages and phrases that use a language other than the document default. Exceptions: proper names, technical terms, or foreign words that have become part of the vernacular.

Correct:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


Document with English and Spanish text. The Spanish text is selected. The Reveal Formatting Pane is open, showing the language to be correctly set to Spanish (International Sort).

Incorrect:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


Document with English and Spanish text. The Spanish text is selected. The Reveal Formatting Pane is open, showing the language to be incorrectly set to English (U.S.).
Rationale

Set the appropriate language for passages and phrases that use a language other than the document default. Exceptions: proper names, technical terms, or foreign words that have become part of the vernacular.

Screen readers pronounce words according to the language specified, so if a passage of text is in another language it will mispronounce the words in the passage.

Legal References

508 references:

1194.21(d); 1194.31(a); 1194.31(b).

WCAG references:

3.1.2.

All Microsoft Word Requirements


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More resources
See the Accessibility Resource Center for more information on electronic document accessibility.

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