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MICROSOFT WORD 2010
508 ACCESSIBILITY CHECKLIST

Icon depicting skipped heading levels

Skipped heading level

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Requirements for 508 compliance

Use programmatically discoverable headings to logically structure content.


How to test

Watch video (1:18 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

Are heading styles used to logically divide and structure the document?

To check if a logical heading structure has been used:

  • To examine the heading structure, Run the accessibility checker: "Skipped Heading Level" will show if headings are not set correctly.

To check the heading structure:

  • To view the current structure, open the headings (navigation) pane: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + H.

    To view the current structure, open the headings (navigation) pane: On the View Tab, in the Show Group, Select Navigation Pane.

Note: Only headings that have been properly formatted with heading styles will show in the Navigation Pane. All headings should have a heading style applied and should show in the Navigation Pane. For instruction on setting heading styles, see the guidance for Unstructured Document.


How to fix

Watch video (1:24 mins)

Video On Demand buttonVideo On Demand button - EWD version

To set a logical structure:

  • Open the Outline View: On the View Tab, in the Document Views Group, select Outline.



    Selecting the menu item per instructions.
  • The Outlining Tab opens in the Ribbon. The document is shown in Outline View.



    The Outlining Tab and a sample report's heading structure shown in Outline View.
  • Use the controls in the Outlining Tab to set a logical heading structure. The level of the heading under the cursor is shown in the Outline Tools Tab. The controls in the Outlining Tab can be used to promote/demote headings, move headings within the document, show or hide formatting, and more.

Note: A logical structure will mean that 'jumps' in heading level are eliminated (or at least minimized). For example, Heading 1 precedes Heading 2, which precedes Heading 3.

Tip: The Navigation Pane can also be used to visualize Heading settings while they are being set: CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + H. Use the context menu (right click) within the Navigation Pane to promote or demote headings.

Tip: The Navigation Pane can also be used to visualize Heading settings while they are being set: On the View Tab, in the Show Group, Select Navigation Pane. Use the context menu (right click) within the Navigation Pane to promote or demote headings.


Examples

Use programmatically discoverable headings to logically structure content.

Correct:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


The Outlining Tab and a sample report's heading structure shown in Outline View. The Correctly set levels 1 through 3 are highlighted.

Incorrect:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


The Outlining Tab and a sample report's heading illogical structure shown in Outline View. There are places where the headings jump multiple levels. Elsewhere, where section headers have inconsistent levels. Content under section headings is also set at a higher level than it's parent heading. The Outlining Tab and a sample report's heading illogical structure shown in Outline View. There are places where the headings jump multiple levels. Elsewhere, where section headers have inconsistent levels. Content under section headings is also set at a higher level than it's parent heading.
Rationale

Use programmatically discoverable headings to logically structure content.

The use of styles and/or other programming allows keyboard-only and assistive technology users to navigate content. Applying bigger fonts, bold, underline, italic etc. does not programmatically set text as a heading.

Legal References

508 references:

1194.21(a); 1194.21(d); 1194.22(o); 1194.31(a); 1194.31(b); 1194.31(f).

WCAG references:

1.3.1 ; 2.1.1; 2.4.6 ; WCAG-AAA: 2.4.10 Section Headings.

All Microsoft Word Requirements


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