Seach Load2Learn Pages:

Unit 1: Module 2

Introduction to structured Word documents


About this course

What is a structured Word document?

Why are structured documents important?

Load2Learn structured Word template

Saving your documents into other accessible formats

About this course

This self-study course has been developed by Load2Learn, a service providing accessible curriculum textbooks and images to support dyslexic, partially sighted or blind learners who have difficulty reading standard print.

It is part of the “Creating and using accessible curriculum resources self-study course” available on Load2Learn. Licenced under Creative Commons.

What is a structured Word document?

A structured Word document is one that uses the style features (headings, tables, lists, etc) within Word to create a navigable structure, rather than a document that only uses visual formatting to create a logical structure (bold, larger font size, etc).

You will learn about creating structured Word documents in Unit 2. This module only aims to provide you with an overview.

Example of a simple chapter book layout

Title page

  • Title heading (for book title)
  • Subtitle heading (book series information)
  • Normal body text (author, illustrator)

Contents page

  • Automated contents listing

Introduction pages

  • Heading 1 (for page title)
  • Normal body text (page content)

Main book copy (story, chapters, etc.)

  • Heading 1 (for chapter heading)
  • Normal body text (chapter text)

Back cover

  • Heading 1 (for page title)
  • Normal body text (page content)

Copyright statement

  • Heading 1 (for page title)
  • Normal body text (page content)

Why are structured Word documents important?

Structured Word documents will help your learners navigate their way through text, they also enable you to create other accessible formats such as PDF, audio, braille and eBook files. The documents can be easily used with access technology.

Using Microsoft Word to produce accessible documents has many benefits and not just for people with any kind of print impairment.  The use of techniques such as using styles and heading levels will help you to make your documents easier to read and navigate for everyone.

Adopting these various techniques for your everyday documents will also help to ensure that your information reaches as wide an audience as possible.

In a structured Word document you can quickly and easily modify font colour, font type, font size, background colour, line spacing and Paragraph modification. It can take as little as 90 seconds to download a structured Word textbook file from Load2Learn and change it to the required font size (30 seconds for short reading scheme books). You will learn about text modification in Module 3.

Activity 1

Watch the “Why are structured documents important?” video on Load2Learn’s Word accessibility pages. 

Load2Learn structured Word template

We have provided some templates that meet the Load2Learn specification for structured Word documents that you can download and use on your PC to create your own accessible documents.

  • Load2Learn Word 2003 (Doc) 
  • Load2Learn Word 2007/10 (Docx)

Saving your document into other accessible formats

A good reason to create a structured Word document is that once created you can use it to very quickly create other accessible formats such PDF, DAISY, Braille and Epub files.

  • Creating DAISY files from a Word document 
  • Creating eReader files from a Word document
  • Creating braille files from a Word document
  • Creating PDF files from a Word Document 

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