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Plan for accessibility in Office 2010

Published: May 16, 2012

The Accessibility Checker in Microsoft Office 2010 lets users create more accessible documents for people who have disabilities. The Accessibility Checker (like a spelling checker, but for accessibility issues) is a core feature of Microsoft Excel 2010, Microsoft PowerPoint 2010, and Microsoft Word 2010.

In this article:

Increase the visibility of violations

The settings that are provided in Control what the checker reports later in this article are used to control the Accessibility Checker. Of these settings, most are about stopping the Accessibility Checker from performing a particular check.

The policy setting Increase the visibility of Accessibility Checker violations controls how strongly an accessibility error will be emphasized in the user interface. If enabled, you can specify what happens when a document, workbook, or spreadsheet has accessibility errors, as shown here:

  • Accessibility violations do not change the Prepare for Distribution area in the Microsoft Office Backstage view (default).

  • Accessibility errors cause the Prepare for Distribution area to be strongly emphasized in the Backstage view.

  • Accessibility errors or warnings cause the Prepare for Distribution area to be less strongly emphasized in the Backstage view.

If disabled or not configured, the Accessibility Checker user interface is presented in its normal state.

Important Important:

Group Policy settings can be used to control the Accessibility Checker. For Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, and Word 2010, the Group Policy settings are located in the gpedit node <AppName>\File tab\Check Accessibility.

Control what the checker reports

The following tables provide the complete Group Policy settings that can be used to control the Accessibility Checker for Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, and Word 2010.

Group Policy settings for Excel 2010

Setting for Excel 2010 Associated registry key Description

Stop checking for alt text accessibility information

AltText

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether objects such as images and shapes contain alternative text.

If disabled or not configured, objects are checked for alternative text and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for table header accessibility information

TableHeaders

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether tables have a header row specified.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for header rows and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure workbooks allow programmatic access

ProgrammaticAccess

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether workbooks have blocked programmatic access through Digital Rights Management (DRM).

If disabled or not configured, workbooks are checked for programmatic access and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for merged cells

MergedCells

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether tables have merged cells.

If disabled or not configured, worksheets are checked for merged cells and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure hyperlink text is meaningful

MeaningfulHyperlinks

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether hyperlinks have meaningful text.

If disabled or not configured, hyperlink text is checked and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure non-default sheet names

SheetNames

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether worksheets with content have non-default names.

If disabled or not configured, worksheet names are checked and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for blank table rows used as formatting

BlankTableRows

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether blank table rows are used as formatting.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for blank rows and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Group Policy settings for PowerPoint 2010

Setting for PowerPoint 2010 Associated registry key Description

Stop checking for alt text accessibility information

AltText

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether objects such as images and shapes contain alt text.

If disabled or not configured, objects are checked for alternative text and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure hyperlink text is meaningful

HyperlinkText

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether hyperlinks have meaningful text.

If disabled or not configured, hyperlink text is checked and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for media files which might need captions

ClosedCaptions

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not flag media files that might need caption information.

If disabled or not configured, presentations are scanned for media files and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for table header accessibility information

HeaderRow

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether tables have a header row specified.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for header rows and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for blank table rows and columns

BlankRowCol

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether blank rows and blank columns have been inserted into tables.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for blank rows and blank columns and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for merged and split cells

SimpleStructure

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether tables have merged or split cells.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for merged and split cells and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking that slide titles exist

HasTitle

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether every slide has a title placeholder.

If disabled or not configured, slides are checked for titles and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure each slide has a unique title

UniqueTitle

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether every slide has a unique title.

If disabled or not configured, slide titles are checked for uniqueness and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure a meaningful order of objects on slides

NonPlaceholderShapes

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether a slide has non-placeholder objects which might be read back out of order.

If disabled or not configured, slides are checked for objects which might be read back out of order and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure presentations allow programmatic access

IRM

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether presentations have blocked programmatic access through DRM.

If disabled or not configured, presentations are checked for programmatic access and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Group Policy settings for Word 2010

Setting for Word 2010 Associated registry key Description

Stop checking for alt text accessibility information

AltText

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether objects such as images and shapes contain alt text.

If disabled or not configured, objects are checked for alternative text and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure hyperlink text is meaningful

MeaningfulHyperlinks

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether hyperlinks have meaningful text.

If disabled or not configured, hyperlink text is checked and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for table header accessibility information

TableHeaders

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether tables have a header row specified.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for header rows and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for blank table rows and columns

BlankTableCells

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether blank rows and blank columns have been inserted into tables.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for blank rows and blank columns and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for merged and split cells

2DTableStructure

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not verify whether tables have merged or split cells.

If disabled or not configured, tables are checked for merged and split cells and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure documents allow programmatic access

ProgrammaticAccess

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether documents have blocked programmatic access through DRM.

If disabled or not configured, documents are checked for programmatic access and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure long documents use styles for structure

StylesAsStructure

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether long documents have used styles to define content structure.

If disabled or not configured, documents are checked for style usage and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure styles have been used frequently

HeadingSpacing

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether documents that use styles have used them frequently enough to accurately represent the document's content structure.

If disabled or not configured, the frequency of style usage is checked and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure headings are succinct

SuccinctHeadings

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether headings in a document are succinct.

If disabled or not configured, document headings are checked for length and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking whether objects are floating

FloatingObjects

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether a document has objects that are floating instead of inline.

If disabled or not configured, objects are checked for floating text wrapping properties and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking whether blank characters are used for formatting

BlankCharacters

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether multiple consecutive white-space characters are used for formatting.

If disabled or not configured, documents are checked for consecutive white-space usage and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for image watermarks

ImageWatermarks

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether a document has image watermarks.

If disabled or not configured, documents are checked for watermarks and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking to ensure heading styles do not skip style level

HeadingOrder

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not check whether headings in a document are used in order.

If disabled or not configured, the ordering of headings in a document is checked and issues found appear in the Accessibility Checker.

Stop checking for tables used for layout

LayoutTablesReadingOrder

If enabled, the Accessibility Checker does not flag layout tables (that is, tables that have no style applied).

If disabled or not configured, tables that have no styles are flagged and violations appear in the Accessibility Checker.

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