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Get real-time notification of accessibility issues while working on Microsoft 365 apps

Accessibility Assistant helps make your s accessible for everyone. You will learn how to use the Accessibility Assistant and On-canvas notifications to check your document for any accessibility problems.

In this topic

Get accessibility issues notifications in Word document as you write

Get real time notifications of accessibility issues while working on a word document, so that you can address them accordingly.
The on-canvas notifications function lets you know when there are accessibility issues, such as hard-to-read text color with low contrast ratio or images without descriptions.

  1. To check the document's accessibility, press Alt+R to expand the Review tab.

  2. Press the A+1 keysto open the Check Accessibility dropdown menu in the Accessibility group.

  3. Press A to select the Check Accessibility option to check accessibility issues notifications.

To know more about Accessibility Assistant, refer to Improve accessibility in your documents with the Accessibility Assistant.

Notification for hard-to-read text contrast

When the color of text does not contrast adequately with the background color, you will be alerted by an accessibility icon.

  • Select the accessibility icon  on the canvas. It opens a pop-up card with more information and a way to fix it.

Screen of Accessibility issue notification with possible fixes.

  • To fix the issue, navigate to the recommended changes and select one.

    Note: You can also select the Auto-fix similar issues check box to fix the similar issues automatically.

  • To learn more about the issue and make your document more accessible, select the Show learning tip icon.

Screen of learning tips for the accessibility issue.

  • To ignore the issue, select the Ignore button.

  • Selectthe More font color optionto try and select other color options.

  • To turn off accessibility recommendations, select the More option. Then, select the Turn off accessibility recommendations.

Notification for missing alt-text

When images don’t have an alt-text, you will find the accessibility notification icon on the left margin of the Word document.

  • Navigate to the accessibility icon  and select it, and a card will pop up with more information about the issue and a way to fix it.

Screen of notification of missing alt text for an image.

  • Provide an alt text to the image or simply approve an auto-generated alt text if it accurately describes the image content and purpose.

  • For purely decorative images that don't convey essential information, mark them as decorative using icon button to ensure that the images are appropriately skipped by screen readers, enhancing accessibility.

  • For more information on how to write effective alt text, go to Everything you need to know to write effective alt text

Unable to Locate the feature?

You can enable or disable the feature using the Accessibility Settings option. To do so,

  1. From the ribbon menu, open FileOptions

  2. Under Accessibility, make sure to check the option “Show me options for creating accessible documents.”

    ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ Screen of accessibility assistant setting.

  3. Select the OK button to update the settings.

See also

Improve accessibility in your documents with the Accessibility Assistant

​​​​​​​ Make your Word documents accessible to people with disabilities

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