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Electronic Documents

Electronic documents, via a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation or other document creation application, are treated like a full electronic and information resource (EIR) product. They should conform with all WCAG 2.0 requirements relevant to them.

Document accessibility covers more than individuals with disabilities using assistive technology (AT). It allows individuals using a variety of internet browsers, and software to access the same content.

Electronic documents come in all shapes and sizes, so each will have its own steps for conforming with WCAG 2.0 requirements. See the guides and how-to's specific to your software, or contact the vendor of your product for instructions on how to meet the guidelines.

Web Content or Document?

Should you use a PDF or a webpage? An Excel file? Or PowerPoint file? PDFs (and other file formats) are not as accessible as HTML pages because they are harder to markup in an accessible manner. A good use-case for a file would for templates, forms, complex tables, vitas, resumes, and other printable materials that would need to maintain style properties.

Anything else should be provide in HTML format to avoid compatibility issues, downloading issues, and other accessibility issues.

Common Compliance Issues with Documents

File Sizes
Adaptability to Multiple Devices
Reading Order
Alternative Text
Color and Design


Guides and How-To's


Adobe Acrobat PDF Documents

Microsoft Word Documents

Microsoft Excel Documents

Microsoft PowerPoint Documents

Microsoft Outlook Documents