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

Create accessible and tagged documents to meet the needs of your audience, such as 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 you can create a Tagged PDF or an EPUB book that supports enhanced accessibility features and can be shared with your audience.

Use a larger font size in your documents

Using font sizes smaller than 10pt can make it more difficult for some people to read the text in your documents. 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, whenever you start a new document, your preferred font and font size will be used: 


Add accessibility descriptions to media

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

  • Images
  • Movies
  • Audio
  • Drawings*
  • Image Galleries

* 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 button , 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 button  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 documents, screen readers can identify and navigate directly to headings, which makes a 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 button  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 button , 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 the table of contents view in your documents. When you convert your document to PDF, the table of contents appears automatically 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 be included automatically 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 any text section in the document.  If the document has multiple sections, this only applies to the section you click into.
  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 enter the width for the column.
    • To set different column widths, untick the box next to “Equal column width".

Find out how to add linked text boxes to your Pages document.


Additional recommendations

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

  • Users with some forms of colour blindness may not be able to tell the difference between two symbols that are different colours but otherwise identical. For example, instead of using colours to indicate removed or added text (such as red and green), use strikethrough 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 that you want to include in your document, consider putting that text inside a text box element instead of inside an image.
Published Date: