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MICROSOFT WORD 2010
508 ACCESSIBILITY CHECKLIST

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Unstructured document

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Requirements for 508 compliance

Use programmatically discoverable headings to logically structure content.


How to test

Watch video (1:22 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

Are heading styles used to logically divide and structure the document?


To check if heading styles have been used:

  • To look for the presence of a headings styles, Run the accessibility checker: "Unstructured Document" will show if headings are not set correctly on a long document.

Note: The above check only works on documents of about 1200 words or more. If headings are used on shorter documents, use the manual check described below.

To check that all headings are marked:

  • Open the headings (navigation) pane: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + H .
  • The headings in the navigation page should be selectable to go to any heading in the document.
  • The hierarchy of the headings in the document should be indicated in the Document Map.

To check that all headings are marked:

  • Open the headings (navigation) pane: On the View Tab, in the Show Group, Select Navigation Pane.
  • The headings in the navigation page should be selectable to go to any heading in the document.
  • The hierarchy of the headings in the document should be indicated in the Document Map.

How to fix

Watch video (2:08 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

To set headings programmatically:

  • In the document, select the text that is to be set as a heading.

    An excerpt of a report with the heading text selected.
  • Open the Styles Pane: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + S.

    The report's heading remains selected and the Styles Pane is open. The Styles Pane shows built-in heading styles, and additional styles pane management controls are highlighted.
    Note: It is best to use the built-in styles named 'Heading 1', 'Heading 2, 'Heading 3' etc., because these styles work well with assistive technologies used by people with disabilities. If 'Heading 1', 'Heading 2' etc. do not show in the Styles Pane, select the Options button in the bottom right corner of the pane, and set the types of styles that show to 'All Styles'.

  • Find the appropriate style name (Title, or Heading 1, heading 2, heading 3 etc.). Open the context menu (right click) for the style name.
    • If necessary, update a heading style to match any current visual character formatting. Choose Update <style name> to Match Selection

      While the report heading remains selected, the Heading 1 style's drop-down menu is opened and 'Update Heading 1 to match selection' is chosen.
    • If necessary, modify the heading style's settings to match your desired formatting. Choose Modify…

      While the report heading remains selected, the Heading 1 style's drop-down menu is opened and 'Modify...' is chosen. This opens the Modify Style dialog box for setting the desired options for the style's appearance and behavior.
    • Apply the heading style to the selected text. Select the heading style name, and the selected paragraph in the main document will be programmatically marked with the style name.

      The report heading is selected, then the Heading 1 style's is chosen from the Style Pane. This updates the Navigation Pane with the newly applied navigable heading.

Tip: The Navigation Pane can be used to visualize Heading settings while they are being set: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + H.

Tip: The Navigation Pane can be used to visualize Heading settings while they are being set: On the View Tab, in the Show Group, Select Navigation Pane.

Selecting the Navigation Pane checkbox


Examples

Use programmatically discoverable headings to logically structure content.

Correct:

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


A report excerpt is shown. The Navigation Pane also shows, with all of the document's headings and their hierarchy set.

Incorrect:

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


A report excerpt is shown. The Navigation Pane also shows, but the heading selected on the report page does not show in the Navigation Pane.
Rationale

Use programmatically discoverable headings to logically structure content.

The use of styles and/or other programming allows keyboard-only and assistive technology users to navigate content. Applying bigger fonts, bold, underline, italic etc. does not programmatically set text as a heading.

Legal References

508 references:

1194.21(a); 1194.21(d); 1194.22(o); 1194.31(a); 1194.31(b); 1194.31(f).

WCAG references:

1.3.1 ; 2.1.1; 2.4.6 ; WCAG-AAA: 2.4.10 Section Headings.

All Microsoft Word Requirements


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