Accessibility Tips (Word, PowerPoint, PDFs)

The Trinity Accessible Information Policy sets out a formal commitment by Trinity that information should be available in an accessible format, without discrimination against those with print disabilities.

Accessible documents are only a few steps away!

Word Documents:

  • Use a sans serif font (e.g. Arial, Verdana, Calibri) in size 12 at least. Use 1.5 spacing and left align the text.
  • Avoid underlining or italicising text. Use bold instead.
  • Use Heading styles and formatting. This makes it easier for screen reader users to navigate the document.
  • Ensure there is good contrast between the font and paper colours.
  • Use the Microsoft Word Accessibility Checker to make sure your document is accessible.

PDF Documents:

  • You can export an accessible PDF from an accessible word document.
  • Scan a document (e.g. chapter from a book) using one of the many free OCR engines that will convert what is been scanned into text that can be read aloud (traditional scanners will only scan into an image).
  • If your PDF is not accessible, e.g an image, ensure that there is an alternative version available like a word document.

PowerPoint Documents:

  • Use a template on Microsoft PowerPoint. These already have reading order and heading styles - key for those using screen readers. (See below for a link to Trinity PowerPoint templates)
  • Take advantage of the PowerPoint Accessibility Checker (under the Review tab) to point out and show you how to resolve inaccessibility.
  • Use sans-serif fonts like Arial, Bahnschrift and Helvetica.
  • Make sure that every bullet point has a full stop.
  • Use alt text on images. (Alt text is an alternative image description, added for screen reader users. Screen readers are used by people with visual impairments which read out text in audio format.)
  • Choose colours that are in high contrast to each other. Avoid black on white as they can cause glare for some users.
  • Provide a transcript of any audio visual material in the notes section of the slides.
  • Circulate your presentation in advance of the event, lecture or meeting. This ensures that people can read ahead and have an easier time following the presentation. It will also allow people with visual impairments to navigate the presentation in advance or afterwards.


Accessibility Quick Tip Clips

Accessibility Quick Tips: Why Headings are helpful to you and your students

Trinity-INC Graduate Intern Ross Coleman explains how to structure your headings to make your document accessible.

Accessibility Quick Tips: The Importance of Colour Contrast

Trinity-INC Graduate Intern Ross Coleman explains the importance of colour contrast for clarity and ease of reading.

Accessibility Quick Tips: How and why to add Alt-Text to your images.

Trinity-INC Graduate Intern Ross Coleman explains how to add alternative text (or alt-text) to a document.