Creating accessible Word forms

Find out how to create or add accessible Word forms suitable for publishing on our website.

Before you start

First consider: would a standard web page or a web form work better than a downloadable form? If you are not sure, email the Digital team: dcm@sussex.ac.uk.

Creating accessible Word documents

If you are looking for more general advice on setting up a Word document, or are looking to insert a form into a Word document, view creating an accessible Word document first.

You should create accessible Word documents using a Microsoft Windows computer. It is possible to create them using an Apple computer, however the functionality is limited to the legacy tools.

  • Text entry fields
    • Click on the Developer tab in the Ribbon.
    • Write the question or title for the form field. This can be set in a table or some other styling element.
    • In the Controls section of the Ribbon choose Plain Text Content Control. This will place a text box on your page.
    • Highlight the text box and click Properties in the Ribbon.
    • Write a Title for the text box. This will be read out by a screen reader, so explain to the user what they need to include in the text box.
    • Select OK.
  • Check boxes
    • Click on the Developer tab in the Ribbon.
    • Write the question or title for the form field. This can be set in a table or some other styling element.
    • In the Controls section of the Ribbon choose Check Box Content Control. This will place a check box on your page.
    • Highlight the check box and click Properties in the Ribbon.
    • Write a Title for the check box. This will be read out by a screen reader so explain to the user what the check box relates to.
    • Select OK.
  • Drop-down selection boxes
    • Click on the Developer tab in the Ribbon.
    • Write the question or title for the form field. This can be set in a table or some other styling element.
    • In the Controls section of the Ribbon choose Drop Down List Content Control. This will place a drop down list on your page.
    • Highlight the drop-down-list and click Properties in the Ribbon.
    • Write a Title for the drop down list. This will be read out by a screen reader so explain to the user what the drop-down options relate to.
    • To add items to the drop-down list click Add. A pop-up window will appear allowing you to enter a Display Name and/or value for each item.
    • Select OK when you have added all items to the list.
  • Date pickers
    • Click on the Developer tab in the Ribbon.
    • Write the question or title for the form field. This can be set in a table or some other styling element.
    • In the Controls section of the Ribbon choose Date Picker Content Control. This will place a date picker on your page.
    • Highlight the date picker and click Properties in the Ribbon.
    • Write a Title for the date picker. This will be read out by a screen reader so explain to the user what the chosen date relates to.
    • There are a series of other options in which you can pick the date style, calendar and location.
    • Select OK.