Create accessible documents, spreadsheets or presentations with Pages, Numbers or Keynote

Create accessible and tagged documents to meet the needs of your audience, like students or colleagues.

By following the recommendations in this article, you can create an accessible document that works with screen readers and other assistive technologies. Then, when you create a PDF or an EPUB book to share with your audience, your document can support enhanced accessibility features.

Use a larger font size in your document

Using font sizes smaller than 10pt can make it more difficult for some people to read the text in your document. Make sure you use larger font sizes in your documents. If you create accessible documents on a regular basis, you can set Pages to use a larger default font size. That way, every time you start a new document, your preferred font and font size will be used:

Add accessibility descriptions to media

You can add descriptions to objects in your document so people using assistive technology can better understand your document:

  • Images

  • Movies

  • Audio

  • Drawings*

  • Image Galleries

For examples of accessibility descriptions, placeholder images in templates and themes include an accessibility description.

* You can add descriptions to drawings in Pages and Numbers.

Add descriptions on iPhone or iPad

  1. In the document, tap the object to select it, tap the Format buttonNo alt supplied for Image, then tap Image, Movie, Audio, Drawing or Gallery.

  2. Tap Description, tap in the text box, then enter your description.

Add descriptions on Mac

  1. In the document, click the object to select it, click the Format buttonNo alt supplied for Image in the toolbar, then click Image, Movie, Audio, Drawing or Gallery in the inspector.

  2. Click in the Description text box, then enter your description.

Use headings in your documents

When you use headings in your document, screen readers can identify and navigate directly to headings, which makes the document easier to scan. In Pages documents, use paragraph styles to format headings. In tables, use header rows and columns.

Use headings in Pages documents

  1. In your document, click or tap the text you’d like to apply a heading style to.

  2. Tap or click the Format buttonNo alt supplied for Image in the toolbar. If you're in a page layout document, tap or click the Text tab at the top of the Format sidebar.

  3. Select the paragraph style name near the top of the Format sidebar, then choose a heading style from the Paragraph Styles menu.

Use header rows and columns in tables

Adding header rows and header columns converts existing rows and columns into headers:

  • In Pages, Numbers and Keynote on iPhone or iPad, tap the table, tap the Format buttonNo alt supplied for Image, tap Headers and Footer, then tap the plus (+) or minus (-) sign next to a header category.

  • In Pages, Numbers and Keynote on Mac, Control-click the number or letter next to the first row or column in your table, then choose "Convert to Header Row" or "Convert to Header Column".

Use a table of contents in Pages documents

Use a table of contents in your document. When you convert your document to PDF, the table of contents automatically appears in the navigation pane of the PDF. Table of contents entries are tagged as "Table of Contents" elements and can provide additional functionality for assistive technology users. And when you export to EPUB, the table of contents will also automatically be included to assist with navigation.

Use built-in layout options for document layouts in Pages

Pages supports multi-column text and text boxes that you can link together to create your own layout. Using these features instead of a table to provide the layout structure of your document will make it easier for users with screen readers to navigate.

Here's how to add and adjust columns in your document:

  1. Click in text section in the document. If the document has multiple sections, this only applies to the section you click in.

  2. Tap or click the Format button in the toolbar, then tap or click the Layout button near the top.

  3. Use the controls in the Columns section to set the number of columns and their spacing:

    • To set the number of columns, click the arrows next to the Columns value field.

    • To set column spacing, double-click the values in the Column and Gutter columns, then type the width for the column.

    • To set different column widths, untick the box next to "Equal column width".

Find out more about how to use linked text boxes in your documents:

Additional recommendations

When creating accessible documents, you might also want to follow these additional recommendations:

  • People with some forms of colour blindness may not be able to tell the difference between two symbols that are different colours but are otherwise identical. For example, use strikethrough text instead of coloured text to indicate a removed text.

  • Screen readers can read and navigate most text in documents, but don’t work as well when the text is embedded inside an image. If you have an image of text you want to include in your document, consider putting that text inside a text box element instead of inside an image.

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