Easy Accessibility Add On Ribbon for Word

From https://davidberman.com/berman-accessibility-ribbon-for-word/

What is the Berman Accessibility Ribbon?

The Berman Accessibility Ribbon (version 1.0) is an add-on to Microsoft Word for Windows (versions 2010, 2013, 2016, 2016/365, and 2019). It is available in various languages. (Unfortunately, Word for Mac still lacks the accessibility features of Word for Windows, so the ribbon only works for Word for Windows).

Got Word for Windows 2003 or 2007? Get Cliff Tyllick’s excellent toolbars and tabs for earlier versions of Word at http://cliffknows.net/word/ .

Install the Berman Accessibility Ribbon into your Microsoft Word to make it easier to create and maintain accessible Word files. The ribbon will help you create documents that are accessible for everyone and that comply with WCAG 2.0: these are the criteria designated by regulations such as AODA and Section 508.

The ribbon is donationware… it is free, though we’d love it if you would make a donation to Carleton University’s READ Initiative.

How to install the ribbon on your Windows computer

  1. Get the ribbon by completing the Berman Accessibility Ribbon Registration form … it will email you a link to the davidbermancom-Accessibility-Ribbon-for-Word.exportedUI file you’ll need, which you’ll then download to a folder of your choice on your computer.
  2. Launch Microsoft Word for Windows 2010, 2013, or 2016, 2016/365, or 2019 and follow these steps:
    1. select File menu (in Microsoft Word)
    2. select Options command (this will open a Word Options dialog)
    3. select Customize Ribbon in the sidebar of the Word Options dialog (this will display the Customize Ribbon options)
    4. pulldown the Import/Export dropdown button menu (it’s in the lower corner of the dialog)
    5. select Import Customization File from the dropdown menu (this will open a “File Open” dialog)
    6. select the Berman Accessibility ribbon install file from the folder you downloaded it to in the very first step above, then select the Open button
    7. respond “Yes” to the warning dialog that appears asking “Replace all existing Ribbon and Quick Access Toolbar customizations for this program?” (Note: if you have created other custom ribbons, they will be deleted!)
    8. now, back on the Word Options window, confirm that the checkbox next to “Accessibility (Custom)” in the Main Tabs section of the Customize The Ribbon column is checked (if not checked, the Berman Accessibility Ribbon will not appear in Word)
    9. if “Accessibility (Custom)” is not already at the top of the Main Tabs list, then repeatedly select the Move Up arrow button until “Accessibility (Custom)” is at the top of the list. (This will ensure that the Accessibility ribbon tab will be the next-to-first tab in Word’s interface… if you’d like it elsewhere, you can position it elsewhere.)

Congratulations! You have finished installing the Accessibility Ribbon.

The top of your Word screen should now look something like this (this screen capture is from Word 2013):

Screen capture of Berman Accessibility Ribbon in Microsoft Word for Windows 2016

The “Accessibility” tab now appears between the File and Home tabs. The ribbon has sections for:

  • Document
  • Page
  • Structure
  • Styles
  • Content
  • Links
  • Lists
  • Images
  • Forms
  • Acrobat (if you installed Acrobat)

(Your layout may differ slightly.)

How to deactivate the ribbon (should you ever wish to)

  1. Launch Microsoft Word 2010 or 2013 or 2016 or 2016/365 or 2019, and follow these steps within Word:
    1. select File menu
    2. select Options command (this will open a Word Options dialog)
    3. select Customize Ribbon in the sidebar of the Word Options dialog (this will display the Customize The Ribbon options)
    4. uncheck the box next to “Accessibility (Custom)” in the Main Tabs section of the Customize The Ribbon column
  2. If you also wish to permanently remove access to the ribbon, select the “<< Remove” button. (This will remove the ribbon from even being mentioned on the Customize The Ribbon option.)

How to remove the installer from your computer

  1. Follow the instructions above “How to inactivate the ribbon”.
  2. Go to the folder you saved the “davidbermancom-Accessibility-Ribbon-for-Word.exportedUI” to, and delete that file.

About the ribbon

This accessibility ribbon was developed by David Berman Communications. Thank you to the City of Guelph for the inspiration.


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