Creating Accessible Word Documents

Benefits for Word users who create 'born accessible documents'

The person using program-provided styles benefits in several ways. For example:

  • Once headings have been created with styles, the appearance of all headings of a certain level can be changed by simply changing the style definition in that document. Styles can also be changed for all documents that are created. It becomes very easy to format a document for different situations or publishers' requirements. (External information about working with styles in Word.)
  • Heading styles include codes that mark heading text for the table of contents. If a document was created using heading styles, a table of contents can be created in less than a second. This table of contents can be refreshed whenever the documents is edited.
  • Similar to a table of contents, the navigation pane serves as a document map and can be accessed to navigate through the document while editing. (Microsoft video about using the document map.)

Word for Mac

Recommendation: Please update to Office for Mac 2016.  Note that only Macintosh Word documents made with Word 2016 for Mac can be "saved as" accessible pdfs.  

Word documents made with older versions cannot be "saved as" accessible pdfs. ATS in IT will convert Word files made with Microsoft Office for Mac.  Please send an email to with the files attached and any instructions.  Call 243-HELP (4357) with questions.

Additional information

Creating accessible Word documents