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- How To: Alternative Text for Decorative Images in any version of Microsoft Office We're constantly striving to create accessibility techniques that are so easy to do that everyone who creates documents can make them a habit. Today's tip is about decorative images in Microsoft Office: whether Word or PowerPoint. If you're familiar with creating accessible documents and webpages, then you already know the importance of using alt attributes for images in HTML, including making the attribute blank (<alt="">) for those images that are decorative, redundant, or irrelevant. Similarly in PDF files, we mark such images as an "artifact". However, one of the big challenges in creating accessible PDF files from Microsoft Office is the unfortunate lack of a way within Word and PowerPoint to indicate that an image is irrelevant. Hopefully Microsoft will soon realize how important this is, and give us an Artifact checkbox in the Alt Text tab. (Yes, Microsoft has added a Decorative checkbox in Office 365 and Office 2019, but it still, sadly doesn't do what we need it to do!)
- How to publish an inaccessible version of a document
In an ideal world, every document you publish will be accessible, every step of the way. However, there may be situations where it will make perfect sense to publish a document in an inaccessible format. of those situations:
- Multiple styles within one paragraph in Word for Windows… accessibly! We have many clients who express the desire to have more than one paragraph style within a paragraph in Microsoft Word. For example, someone wants to have a lead-in heading, where the heading is the first part of the paragraph and the rest of the paragraph is body text (i.e. not a heading). Good news! We have a solution where you can mix styles within a paragraph in Microsoft Word for Windows (unfortunately for Mac users, this feature and our ribbon won't work yet in Microsoft Word for MacOS).
- David’s best recipe for getting from your Word file to accessible PDF
Finally! Starting this past month, Office for Mac finally has all the same features as Office for Windows. Which makes this all the more timely:
Of all the recipes I'm asked to share, whether in one of our accessibility courses or while a client prepares PDF files for us to help make more accessible, I think the recipe I'm asked to share most often is how to get from Word to PDF. And it's understandable: there are so many paths and options, it can be bewildering for someone trying to create PDF files that are accessible for people living with disabilities. Of all the accessible PDF recipes we've developed (InDesign, Office, LiveCycle/Adobe AEM Forms, GoogleDocs...) this one's the most frequent request. So here it is...
Reviewed January 24, 2019