Accessibility Advice Series: Formatting Lists

10 January 2023

Tech & Innovation

A close up of a keyboard featuring 3 particular keys depicting Blind Deaf and Disabled logos.

When creating bodies of text, do you consider who is reading it and how they will read it? It’s important to make text easy to read and understand, whether your reader is sighted or has vision loss. For example, when we provide visual formatting of a list in our paragraphs or documents, we must provide the same experience to a non-sighted user.

To do this we should use programmatic formatted bulleted lists. For example, making it into a numbered or bulleted list. This helps assistive technology users to navigate and understand the sequence of the items in the list.

Here’s how to format bulleted lists in Microsoft Word:

  1. Select the text you want to format as a list.
  2. Click on the Home tab, and then navigate to the drop-down arrow next to the bullets command.
  3. A menu of bullet styles will appear, select the bullet style you want to use.

Here’s how to format numbered lists in Microsoft Word:

  1. Select the text you want to format as a numbered list.
  2. Select the Home tab.
  3. In the Paragraph group click on the Numbering button.
  4. A menu of numbering styles will appear, select the ones you want to use.

If you’d like any more information about how to make things more digitally accessible, check out our website – it’s full of advice that you can use to be more inclusive to people who are blind, deafblind or have low vision. Alternatively, give us a call on 0800 24 33 33 to speak to someone about any other accessibility help you require.


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