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Add alternative text to Microsoft Word document

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If your original document is in the format of Microsoft Word, follow the instructions below to create alternative text (Alt Text) for shapes, pictures, charts, SmartArt graphics, or other objects in your document before uploading it to Canvas.

Alternative Text Guidance:

  • Be informative, but be as concise as possible.
  • An most important question to ask is: What do I want viewers to understand after viewing this image? Your answer will dictate how you formulate your alternative text.
  • Keep alternative text descriptions shorter than the average sentence.

1. Select an image, chart, or graphic in your document.

2. Right click and select Edit Alt Text...

3. Or you can click Picture Format [1], and select Alt Text [2].

4. An Alt Text pane will appear on the right hand side. Type 1-2 sentences in the text box to describe the object and its context.

Click Generate a description for me to allow Microsoft Word to auto-generate an Alt Text for your selected object. Make sure to review the Alt Text for accuracy.

Decorative objects add visual interest but aren't informative (for example, stylistic borders). To mark a visual as decorative, select the Mark as decorative check box when the Alt Text pane is open. The text entry field becomes grayed out.

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