Document Accessibility Cheatsheet

January 2017

Document Accessibility Cheatsheet

While not all-encompassing, here are some common things to check to make accessible documents.  Link to longer document with links, screenshots, and additional resources.


  • Set custom tabs (don’t use tab multiple times for placement)
  • Use left-alignment for blocks of text (don’t use justified)
  • Set line & paragraph spacing for vertical space (don’t use “extra” returns)


  • Ensure font & background are high contrast between light & dark (don’t use similar colors together)
  • View document colors in grayscale to ensure color differential (don’t use colors that look similar when viewed gray)
  • Use text with color to convey important information (don’t use color alone to show important information)

Document Layout:

  • Divide page with columns & sections (don’t use nested tables)
  • Adjust margins (don’t use tables, text boxes and returns for placement)


  • Best choices for blocks of text are: Verdana, Arial, Helvetica & Trebuchet (don’t use decorative fonts)
  • Titles & headings 14 pt or larger may use serif or sans-serif fonts


  • Documents should be segmented with built in headings (don’t set font type, size, color, alignment on individual items to segment)
  • Headings can be customized, but should follow good font & color selection processes


  • Should have alternative text assigned to them that is descriptive (don’t default to the picture name)


  • Purpose of link is clear from linked text, OR purpose is clear from context of text surrounding the linked text (don’t use “click here” or other ambiguous text)
  • Text is linked that identifies what it is (don’t use the URL for both text and link)


  • When able, use lists to break up text (don’t use manual line breaks and add symbols)
Creative Commons License

This work by Melinda C Waffle - Calhoun Intermediate School District is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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