MS Word Chapter 3: Styles and Appearances


Section 3.1: Borders

You cannot use borders as the only way to convey meaning. A good way to create better structure is by providing extra queues to the readers. This will allow them to have an easier time reading the pages and understanding the difference between sections.

A family vacation packing list without labels for the borders

This list only provides borders to indicate the required and optional items. Screen reader users may not know when the sections start and finish.

Family Vacation Packing List with the Required Items and Optional Items sections labeled

This list has semantic headings labeling required items and optional items into different sections. That way a screen reader will tell the reader when they are in the required section or the optional section.

Section 3.2: Line Spacing

A good rule of thumb is to always have line spacing set at 1.5 or 2 lines. This can make reading easier for those with dyslexia or readers who easily lose their place in a page.

  1. Highlight your text, in the Home Tab, go to the Paragraph Section and click the Paragraph Spacing Button

    An essay on why accessibility matters with one line spacing.
  2. Select 1.5 or 2.0 lines spacing. This will make your text expand down the page. As a result, readers will have an easier time focusing on the individual reading lines.

Section 3.3: Justification Lines

You should avoid full justification lines at all cost. A full justification line causes the spaces between words to be different sizes. Some will be wider and some more narrow. This will make reading the document very difficult for screen reader users or people with low vision. Always justify your lines to the left.

To justify your lines,

  1. Highlight your text and go to your Home tab

  2. In the Paragraph section, click the Left Justification button.

This essay is fully justified. This is causing unnecessary spaces between the words and making it harder to read.

Section 3.4: Can I use Flashing or Blinking Animations?

It is recommended to not use any flashing or blinking objects due to them causing photosensitive epileptic seizures. If you need to use a flash, make sure the flashing is not a very intense flash or goes very fast. A good amount of flashes is about 1 flash per second, the less intense and less flashes there are, the better.