Accessible Documents – Charts


The Chart option is located in the Illustrations area of the Insert tab. Contents of charts and graphs should be clear and labeled.

Go to Insert > Chart > Choose the type of chart that best represents the data:

Screenshot of Word 2013 Insert tab highlighting the Chart option and the Insert Chart dialog boxOnce you’ve added a Chart, you’ll be able to see the Chart Tools tabs for Design and Format. (These are contextual ribbon tabs which are only visible when you click on an inserted Chart.)

Screenshot of Word 2013 Chart Tools Design tab

Data Labels

Once you’ve added your data to the Chart, add Data Labels. There are several ways to add Data Labels. The Add Chart Element option is available in the Chart Tools Design ribbon tab.

Screenshot of Word 2013 Add Chart Element wtih Data Labels highlightedAlso, if you click on your chart, several icons will appear, such as the Chart Area icon (which looks like a plus sign).

Screenshot of Word 2013 chart with Chart Elements icon highlightedClick on the Chart Area icon to add data labels. If you go to More Options, you’ll access the Format Data Labels pane.

Screenshot of Word 2013 Chart Elements with Data Labels option highlighted and More Options for Data Labels(Alternately, right click on the chart > Add Data Labels > Make your adjustments using the Format Data Labels pane.)

Once the data labels have been added, you can adjust the size, if needed, the way you would adjust the size of fonts in text. Depending on the type of data your chart illustrates, you may want additional label options. For example, it may be useful to show the Category Name, Value and Percentage. It just depends on the nature of your data and the purpose of your chart.

Screenshot of Word 2013 Format Data Labels paneProvide the data in a tabular format (i.e. use the table that you used to create the chart). This benefits everyone because if you need to edit or copy the data later, tabular data is easier to edit.

Alt Text for Charts

To add alt text to the chart/graph, click on the chart. This should give you access to the Format Chart Area pane. Click on the Layout & Properties icon and add a meaningful description.

Screenshot of Word 2013 Format Chart Area pane with Alt Text area selected and "Add meaninful description here" in the Description field(Alternately, right click on the chart > Format Chart Area > Alt Text > Description.)

There may be too much information to convey in the alt text. If this is the case, be sure to repeat the information described visually in the text of the document.



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