Templates for Microsoft Office products include templates for Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint, Microsoft Access and Microsoft Visio. They will be suitable for Office 2016, Office 365 for business, Office 365 for home and Office 2016 for Mac.

There are new accessible templates available for Microsoft Office that improve on the old versions to make them even better to use. Microsoft has concentrated on the following to make the templates more accessible:

Colour Contrast

The colour contrast has been increased in the Templates to make them quicker and easier to read so that important information isn't missed, and users can read the documents quicker. An example of an accessible template is one that uses a clean white background, with highly contrasting colours for the text, charts, illustrations, labels, titles etc.

Alt Text

Alt text is used to describe an image, picture, other graphic or background illustration to screen readers, when the item fails to load, or when the user hovers the mouse over.

Table Structures

Tables have been made more accessible to screen readers and other automated software readers by having simpler structures, with clear headings and no blank cells.

Font Size

The default, or minimum, size of fonts used in accessible templates has been increased to 11 points to ensure they are easily read by the partially sighted. 

Excel Input Messages

Specifically for Microsoft Excel users Input Messages have been introduced to the templates. These input messages assist users in filling in a spreadsheet based on the template. So the relevant cells that require input now have an associated message box to tell the user what type of data is required.

Other accessible features in the Microsoft Office templates include better reading order in Powerpoint slides, descriptions associated with hyperlinks, headings in a logical format, and rich text content controls for Word Templates.

Further information about accessible templates can be found at Get accessible templates for Office.


Microsoft Accessible Office Templates website

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