Microsoft Office Inclusive Teaching Material (MS Word & PowerPoint)

This Page is now marked as archived and is not being updated( March 2013) – Advice and information on making electronic teaching material accessible can be obtained from the LLC, please find appropriate contact details on the Library Disability Support Pages

Creating accessible teaching materials is essential to inclusion, and will ultimately reduce time and effort in making individual adjustments.

We recommend that materials are created using existing templates and styles, which can be use again and again and again…

Templates can be branded to incorporate specific design specifications, and training can be provided.

Quick Start – Use these pre-created University templates:


Creating your own Inclusive PowerPoint & Word templates:

With permission, Dundee University Alternative Formats Service has adapted information written by Jisc TechDis, in the preparation of these materials.

Power Point

Quick start Guide

  • Preferably use University of Dundee Templates (.potx)layout
  • When choosing a slide layout always select from the ‘layout’ button under the ‘Home’ tab.  You can then customise the existing boxes to suit.  Never use text boxes for displaying text.
  •  Add additional information in the notes section to explain diagrams, tables and images
  • Go to the ‘View’ tab and select ‘Outline View’. If the text appears in the left panel then it is accessible to a wide audienceView

Read the guide below for specific information;

 Creating your presentation:

  • Start by using Dundee templates  and give each slide a unique title.
  • Keep the layout simple and clear – here are some tips for improving your slide layout.
  • Use the Notes field to expand on important points or summarise diagrams and tables – a visually impaired user will then be able to access the information.
  • Use the Accessibility checker to make sure there are no major problems and, if required, check the Reading Order of your slides.

Find out what makes a bad presentation.

Using Images

  • Learn about accessible image types, how to avoid copyright difficulties, and how to correctly attribute materials – Using images in presentations
  • Resize large images to keep files to a manageable size and crop them to focus the reader on the relevant portion.
  • When you add images to your PowerPoint presentation, make sure you add meaningful Alt text.
  • Add useful image captions to your image.
  • See Screen Tips for additional information.

Using Multimedia:

Different types of media can be added to a PowerPoint presentation – learn how to find appropriate sound clips or video clips, how to avoid copyright difficulties, and how to attribute the materials you use correctly.  Alternatively, you could make your own sound files.

Using Hyperlinks:

You can use hyperlinks to navigate to a different slide in your presentation, to a different document, or to a web page. Read about best practice with hyperlinks, including using screen tips to provide further information about where the link takes the reader.

Saving and publishing:

There are many ways to save your presentation. We recommend you upload them before the lecture in .pptx format and also in PDF, which is a straightforward way of providing a presentation that works well on a mobile device.


Quick Start:

  • Download the UoD-Word template 
  • To apply a style – highlight the appropriate text then select the required style option from the ‘Home Ribbon’
  • Always apply formatting via the Styles bar.  Never use for example ctrl+B, ctrl+I, ctrl+U, or change fonts, font sizes, and spacing directly from the ribbon bar.  Instead, right click on the selected style from the ‘Home Ribbon’ to modify it.
  • Use Heading styles 1, 2, 3 or 4 to give your document structure.
  • Select ‘View’ tab and check that the ‘Navigation Pane’  button is selected.  This will open up a panel at the left hand side of your screen. From this, you will be able to clearly see the heading structure of your document.  This becomes particularly useful when you are navigating a large document or checking a document for accessibility.

As a simple step to ensure that your Word document is inclusive, base your document on a Dundee template and familiarise yourself with using styles and templates.

Document Layout:

Your text should be left aligned. Make sure there is enough white space to break up the text – you can do this by:


Using Tables:

  • Keep the table structure simple.
  • When deciding on a structure, bear in mind that screen readers (software used by blind users) will read the content from left to right.
  • Specify the header rows and ensure they are repeated if your table crosses multiple pages.
  • Add  Alt Text to explain your table to visually impaired readers and make sure it is meaningful.
  • An informative caption can also be helpful – here we show you how to add a caption.

Using Images:

Using Graphs

Graphs are a visual way of adding data to your document. You may need to alter colour schemes for accessibility and to ensure the users can interpret them.  Add alt text for visually impaired readers  and make sure this is meaningful.  Add a caption to summarise the main points – find out how to write a useful caption.

Using Hyperlinks

You can use hyperlinks to link to somewhere else within a document, to an alternative document, or to a Web Page.  Read best practice with hyperlinks to find out more.

Tools for Authors

Outline view can be used to view and edit the structure of your document.  It is a good idea to include a Table of Contents when creating longer documents.

Saving and Publishing:

Make sure the information stored about your document is accurate by filling in the document metadata.  Dundee  recommend you make this available before the lecture ( VLE, my.dundee) in Docx format and PDF.  PDF is a straightforward way of providing a presentation that works well on a mobile device.

Advice on using Word 2103 to make a PDF 

Tools for Readers:

If you have a Word document that you are struggling to read, it might help to use web view and zoom. The navigation pane will give you an overview and allow you to skip to specific sections.  Word 2010 has in-built text-to-speech, so you can easily have a document read out to you.



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