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Structure and Layout

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Structure and Layout

What to do

In Word use the built-in headings and styles, avoid fprmat.

In PowerPoint use slide titles and set a reading order for content in your slides.

Ensure the correct use of fonts and formatting.

Use san-serif fonts and avoid using serif fonts.

Use bold text for emphasis and avoid italics and underlines.

Use line spacing in the documents and slides to make the text readable especially in large paragraphs.

In PowerPoint avoid text boxes instead use the place holders that is read by the screen reader.

How to find it

Heading styles are in the Home tab on the ribbon in Microsoft Word. Using these you can add a heading.

In PowerPoint, you can use the ‘bring to front' and ‘send to back’ options to create a reading order. You can then check the reading order by using the tab key to tab through the content order in each slide.

Why do it

To make it easier for screen readers to read your documents in a logical order.

Organize the information in your Word documents into small chunks with headings and sub-headings. Ideally, each heading would include only a few paragraphs so the information is better organised as well as easier to read and understand.

In PowerPoint, a screen reader reads through content using the reading order. This also works when a PowerPoint is saved as a PDF.

How to do it

Apply built-in heading style

To check that the order of slide items you have added are logical, you can Reading Order pane in PowerPoint.


For any guidance regarding Structure and Layout, please have a look at this Cribsheet that tells everything in detail.

For more information and resources please visit Microsoft Accessibility Video Training.