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Re: Are there MS Word Templates for MLA, APA and Chicago Styles that generate accessible documents?


From: Eoin Campbell
Date: Jun 24, 2009 1:35AM

As part of an online Word to HTML conversion service,
we have developed a Word template designed to support authors
in creating properly constructed Word documents which convert
into accessible HTML. A simple introduction and access to
a freely downloadable Word template are available at

Feel free to use and/or modify the template, as we only charge
for the online conversion service.

Some features of the template additional to what Cliff mentioned
are the following:
- keyboard shortcuts for common styles (like <Ctrl>+1 for
Heading 1, etc.);
- a built-in macro to check the heading hierarchy and some
other accessibility issues (like headings inside table cells);
- a menu containing all 'approved' styles organised into List,
Heading, Table, Paragraph styles, etc.)
- a table insertion macro to ensure the table heading has the
"Heading Row Repeat" attribute set.

I would also recommend having a style definition template
defined and placed in the standard template folder,
and the VBA macro and menu/toolbar template in the
template startup folder.
This will make support of multiple style templates easier,
while retaining the same user interface elements. It will also
help with supporting both Word 2003 and Word 2007, and even
Word 2004 (to a degree).

Note that the template is intended only for styling documents,
not converting them into HTML.
I would be interested in knowing what tools you use to convert
Word into HTML? We have found that it is much easier to maintain
a central conversion server than configuring software on each
users' PC.

"Cliff Tyllick" < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Here at the TCEQ, we are still using Word 2003. Used properly, our publishing templates produce accessible documents. But the problem has been to get our staff to use the templates properly.
> The most effective solution we have found has been to create a toolbar that contains no buttons that lead to inaccessible formatting. Instead, we have added buttons for commands that lead to accessible formatting.
> For example, Font selection, Bold, Italics, and Underline are gone. In their place are buttons labeled H1, H2, and H3, the style selection list, and the button to open the "Styles and Formatting" task pane.
> Similarly, the alignment buttons are gone. To change alignment, we want people to modify a style.
> Increase Indent and Decrease Indent have been replaced with buttons for Promote List Item and Demote List Item:
> - To increase the margin, we want people to change the page setup.
> - To increase the indent, we want them to use an appropriate style.
> - When they are working with a multilevel list, we want them to make a conscious decision to either change the indent or change the level of the item. We don't want them to just move the text across the page and leave it up to Word to guess their intent.
> Other extremely helpful buttons have been Document Map, Insert Table of Contents, Update Table of Contents, and Show All Formatting Marks. By grouping these together, we establish and reinforce the concept of what structure is and how to review it.
> We have also discovered that it's possible to save a custom list of styles in our templates. When they open the task pane, people see only the styles that make sense for the template they are using. Because irrelevant styles no longer create a confusing clutter, people find it easier to find the ones they need. So they actually use them.
> Except that the toolbar will import to Word 2007 as an add-in, I am not sure how well this approach will work in that environment. With bated breath I await my chance to test drive Word 2007. I understand that Microsoft has made it impossible to avoid the buttons that lead to inaccessible formatting. Oy vey.
> Separately, I will send you a copy of the toolbar with instructions for adding it to any document or template.
Eoin Campbell