Accessibility in Office 2003

Microsoft Office 2003 includes many powerful and useful accessibility features to make things easier to see on screen and easier to access with the mouse and keyboard. You can also choose sound and speech options that help you work with your documents more effectively.

Display and Readability

  • Zoom for readability: In most Office 2003 programs you can zoom in on your files to make information more readable on the screen. You can also choose to view in high contrast to improve legibility.
  • Get a better view The Reading Layout view in Office 2003 programs helps increase readability of documents by displaying just the Reading Layout and Reviewing toolbars in the view—all others are hidden.
  • Create accessible websites Microsoft FrontPage 2003 enables Website creators to create websites that are more accessible for people with disabilities. FrontPage 2003 allows website creators to easily add alternative (ALT) text to images (which provides a description for people who cannot see images), apply style sheets (important for allowing the user to customize fonts and colors), and create accessible image maps (to make links within images more accessible). FrontPage 2003 also includes an Accessibility Checker to identify accessibility problems in a website.
  • Build accessible forms InfoPath 2003 supports any customer-defined Extensible Markup Language (XML) schema and integrates with web services. With InfoPath 2003 you can gather and share organizational information by designing and using forms. The user interface of InfoPath 2003 supports the accessibility features of Windows XP with some restrictions.

Keyboard and Mouse

  • Use keyboard shortcuts (or shortcut keys) Using keyboard shortcuts can help you complete some tasks faster and easier. Many features and commands in Office 2003 programs are available directly from the keyboard using keyboard shortcuts (pressing two or more keys simultaneously). Or, you can assign custom keyboard shortcuts to a command, macro, font, AutoText entry, style, or commonly used symbol. To find a list of keyboard shortcuts, or learn how to assign custom keyboard shortcuts, open the Help menu in Office 2003 programs (press F1), and type "keyboard shortcuts."
  • Customize toolbars and menus You can customize toolbars and menu commands in most Office 2003 programs to put the most used commands within easy reach. For example, you can create a toolbar that contains only the buttons and menus you use most often, or, create a custom toolbar button or menu command.
  • Automate tasks You can also reduce keystrokes in most Office 2003 programs by automating them to perform repetitive tasks. This helps you:
    • Copy the look and style of text from one section to another
    • Correct capitalization and spelling as you type
    • Format punctuation marks, symbols, and lists as you type
  • Scroll with your mouse If you use the Microsoft IntelliMouse or Microsoft IntelliMouse TrackBall pointing device, or other products with similar technology, you can scroll and zoom directly by using the mouse—reducing required motion.

Sounds and Speech

  • Use speech recognition Speech recognition is installed in all Office programs by initially using the feature in Word 2003, or by doing a custom installation. For details, see the Help topic, "Install and Train Speech Recognition."
  • Use Microsoft Narrator You can use the text-to-speech utility Microsoft Narrator while using Word to read aloud menu commands, dialog box options and more—including announcing events on screen and reading typed characters.
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Note to Assistive Technology Users

If you use assistive technology, be sure to contact your assistive technology manufacturer to check compatibility with Microsoft products and to learn how to adjust your settings to optimize compatibility.