Creating Document Structure in Word


When using any text editor, such as MS Word, or the Canvas text editor, use the headings/paragraph, lists, and bullet point formatting tools to format a document both visually and for a screen reader. 

Table of Contents

Create Headings

  1. Rather than simply increasing the font size and selecting “B” or “bold” to create the title of your page, use the “Heading 1” format tool.  
  2. Increased font size is not recognized by a screen reader, but a heading indicator is. This will allow the user to get a better sense of flow and organization of a document. 
    1. Otherwise, what visually appears as a carefully formatted document will become a large, space free block of text in a screen reader. 
  3. For this same purpose, avoid using charts unnecessarily or only for formatting purposes.
    1. Only use charts for information that truly needs to be categorized because of the difficulty charts can cause for screen readers.

Using fonts and high contrast background colors is advantageous for both web and print documents.