Using MS Office Accessibility Checker Makes Documents Easier to Read

The Accessibility Checker is a tool provided in Microsoft Office for Windows that checks your document for possible issues that people with disabilities may experience when viewing your Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file. The tool checks against a set of rules developed by ADA standards and provides a list of items that should be adjusted.

To run the inspection tool on a Windows computer, open the document, go to the File tab, select Info, select Check for Issues, and choose Check Accessibility from the drop-down menu.

Accessibility Checker

Each issue found is classified as an Error, Warning, or Tip.

Accessibility Checker Error Results

  • Error: An error is for content that makes a file very difficult or impossible for people with disabilities to understand.
  • Warning: A warning is for content that in most, but not all, cases makes a file difficult for people with disabilities to understand.
  • Tip: A tip is for content that people with disabilities can understand, but that might be better organized or presented in a way that would improve their experience.

Fixing some issues might require a change in formatting, heading styles, captions, or providing Alternative Text for images or data tables. The Checker’s results pane will offer suggestions for why-to-fix and how-to-fix these issues.

For a hands-on introduction to creating accessible Word, PowerPoint, and PDF files,register for an OIT accessibility workshop.