Word 2007 Section 508 Accessibility Checklist

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Icon depicting repeated blank characters

Repeated Blank Characters


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Requirements for 508 compliance

Use paragraph spacing settings instead of carriage returns when additional line spacing is needed between paragraphs.


How to test

Have carriage returns been used in place of paragraph spacing formatting?

To determine whether multiple blank characters have been used for spacing/layout:


How to fix

To show/find Repeated Blank Characters


To remove and replace repeated paragraph marks (and manual line break marks)

Note: There should be only one paragraph marker per paragraph, as a general rule.

Note: To control different types of paragraph spacing for a large document, it is easiest to use the Paragraph settings in Styles.



To remove and replace repeated Tab Characters and Spaces used for indenting text

Repeated Tab characters have been used to indent a heading 4 inches from the left margin. The Tab characters are deleted and the Paragraph Indent setting is set to 4 inches.

Note: It may be useful to show the Ruler when setting indents: In the View Tab in the Show/Hide Group, Select Ruler.


Checking the show Ruler option in the Ribbon.

Note: To control different types of Indents for a large document, it is easiest to use the Paragraph settings in Styles.



To remove and replace repeated Tab Characters and Spaces used for setting columns

Note: Setting paragraphs of text in columns also divides the content into sections. Section break characters will also appear if non-printing Characters are showing: CTRL + SHIFT + *.


Examples

Use paragraph spacing settings instead of carriage returns when additional line spacing is needed between paragraphs.

Correct:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


An excerpt of a report page as it would appear on screen with proper formatting. Indents, line spacing, and columns are all correctly set. There are no repeated blank characters.

Incorrect:

(Select the image to download example file in MS Word format)


An excerpt of a report page as it would appear on screen with multiple repeated non-printing characters showing. Indents, line spacing, and columns are all incorrectly set with repeated blank characters.
Rationale

Use paragraph spacing settings instead of carriage returns when additional line spacing is needed between paragraphs.

Excess carriage returns are spoken by screen readers, interfering with normal reading.

Legal References

508 references:

1194.31(b).

WCAG references:

WCAG-AAA: 1.4.8.

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