MACS - Accessibility checklist

Accessibility Checklist

Word Documents

  • Font style: Sans serif like ‘Arial’ or ‘Calibri’
  • Font size: 12 or 14 point
  • Font colour: black, or use high contrast background
  • 5 spacing or 150% of font size
  • Left justified text
  • No italics
  • No underlining
  • Bold: use for headings or words you want to emphasise
  • Sentence case (eg. Transport Scotland) and avoid continuous capitalisation (eg. TRANSPORT SCOTLAND)
  • No hyphenation
  • 2 columns maximum, wide space between columns
  • Headings and subheadings: use heading styles to structure navigation pane
  1. (Go to ‘View’ tab, ‘Show’ section, Select Navigation Pane)
  2. (Go to ‘Home’ tab, ‘Styles’ section, select heading style (eg. Heading 1))
  • Avoid abbreviations or explain first time they appear (eg. Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS), We consulted MACS on several issues.)
  • Dates: Monday 1 January 2022, no superscript ordinals (‘st’, ‘th’ or ‘rd’)
  • Avoid sentences split over two pages


  • Images with alternative (alt) text: short, clear, factual, don’t write ‘Image of …’ (eg. woman in wheelchair at bus stop),
    • Layout in Word document: choose ‘in line with text’ option
  • Videos with captions, and audio tracks with written descriptions
  • Graphs, diagrams, shapes and infographics: clear labelling, readable font size and style, avoid using colour alone to convey meaning (add text or use to reinforce), include short summary of information conveyed in alt text
  • Tables: define header row (see instructions below), use primarily for data, avoid, merged cells, too many blank cells and complex tables with nesting
    (Go to ‘Table Tools - Design’ tab whilst table is selected, check the ‘Header Row’ box in ‘Table Style Options’ and type the column heading in table cell)

Top Tip: Use ‘Accessibility Checker’ to check document (Go to ‘File’ tab, ‘Info’ ‘Check for Issues’ drop down and select ‘Check Accessibility’).

View Real Inclusion Accessible Formatting Document (

PowerPoint Presentations

  • Font size: 24 or 28 point
  • Slide transitions: simple and consistent
  • Backgrounds: use high colour contrast, light with dark font
  • Avoid using images, colours or diagrams alone to convey meaning (add text)
  • Insert new slide using design templates
  • Use slides with titles, if you don’t want titles to be visible, position off to the side and it will still appear in ‘Outline view’
  • Use ‘Outline View’ panel to check text appears and can be read by screen reader (Go to ‘View’ tab, ‘Presentation Views’ and select ‘Outline View’)
  • Use ‘Selection Pane’ to check reading order of each slide (Go to ‘Home’ tab, ‘Drawing’ section, select ‘Arrange’ then ‘Select ‘Selection Pane’ – drag and drop to rearrange)

Social media

  • Separate hashtags with capital letters (eg. #CamelCase)
  • Add alt text to images
  • Avoid conveying information in images, duplicate text in the written post or add alt text to image

View Accessible Social Media Guide - Inclusion Scotland

Inclusive Communication

  • Write in Plain English: short and concise sentences, 25 words or less, avoid jargon, consider need for jargon or abbreviation glossary
  • Provide alternative formats – plain text version, use Word rather than PDF format, printed and digital options
    Accessible communication formats (


Additional resources