Using the Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office Applications

The Accessibility Checker tool available in Microsoft Office applications can be used in addition to Blackboard Ally to identify potential accessibility issues.

Accessible documents benefit everyone - not just those with disabilities! For example, accessible documents benefit cell phone and tablet users, as well as students with low bandwidth access. Accessible documents also make it easier for browsers to display them and are much easier to convert to various platforms or formats.

Accessibility Checker

The Microsoft Office applications have a built-in Accessibility Checker tool for identifying and repairing accessibility issues in Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files. The checker classifies accessibility issues into three categories:

Using the Microsoft Accessibility Checker tool is good practice, but it does not check for all accessibility issues. See Microsoft’s Rules for Accessibility Checker for more information.

Note: Instructions may vary when using Office versions older than Office 2019 or the Office 365 web versions, and/or Macintosh Office applications.

Using the Microsoft Accessibility Checker

  1. Save the file, click the Review tab, select Check Accessibility.

    Review | Check Accessibility

  2. The Accessibility pane opens in the right side and Inspection Results displays the type: Errors, Warnings and/or Tips.

    Inspection results pane

  3. Click on a specific issue to go directly to that specific location within the file.
  4. More information about the issue appears in the Inspection Results pane. The reason for the error, warning or tip is shown, as well as steps to correct it.
  5. Make the suggested changes - repeat until there are no more errors, warnings, or tips listed in the Inspection Results pane.
  6. Save the document again.


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