ETD Accessibility and Template Video

Video Transcript

[00:00 – ETD Formatting webpage]

Hello, this is the Formatting Advisor for The Graduate School.
I’m going to talk with you today about document accessibility and how to use our Word templates to make your ETD more accessible.

What is accessibility mean when it comes to documents? Accessibility means that files such as Word Docs and PDFs can be more easily read by screen readers and other assistive technologies, and we achieve this by doing a few things to our document to make it structured in such a way that a computer can read it. You can read more about it on our Accessibility page.

[00:27 – Accessibility webpage]

Today we will talk about using Styles in the Word templates to help with navigation, adding alt text, updating document properties, and converting your Word doc to a PDF with Bookmarks.

I want to walk you through right now how to use the Word template to jump start the accessibility for your ETD. This also really helps with some of the regular formatting requirements, as well.

[00:46 – Template webpage]

On the Formatting page, download the appropriate copy of the template from our website. We’ll be working in Word, so if you need an updated version of Word, just be sure to snag a copy from UIT. I do want to note that all versions of Word are slightly different, and they look different between Mac and PC, so some of these steps might look a look bit differently and you might have to do some light Googling. You’re also free to use LaTeX instead, if you’re familiar with that, so you don’t have to use Word.

[01:09 – Template front matter]

Okay, when you have your copy downloaded, fill out the front matter with your information. We have the title page, copyright page, dedication, acknowledgments, vita and American Indian heritage, table of contents, list of figures and tables, and abstract, these are all in here, pre-formatted for you. The page numbers are all set for you if they downloaded right for your computer.

[01:31 – Template body]

Then we get to the body of the ETD. I assume most of you have been working on your document somewhere else. You can go ahead and delete the information on the first page here.

[01:41 – Copying from source document]

So the next step is to copy the information from your original document and paste it into the template, matching the text as close as possible. Here I’m going to merge formatting and I’m going to add a… oh it has a first line indent so I don’t have to worry about adding an indent.

So for the headings, you can go ahead and highlight the heading, and apply the appropriate Style. This is my chapter title, so I’m going to go here to the Home tab, under styles, and find Chapter Title. Chapter titles should be in all caps too, so I’m going to make it all uppercase. So I’ve pre-formatted all of the styles specifically for the ETD template.

So I’m going to go ahead and highlight the different headings, and I’m going to find the appropriate heading, and it will do the formatting for me, meaning it will space it above and below the heading properly.

This is a second level heading, choose Second Level.

[2:41 – At the third level heading]

The third level headings are a little bit different because the text has to be in line with the heading. So I’m going to choose Third Level Heading. You can see if I do that, it’ll just make it weird. One way that I’ve figured it out to fix this, on my computer at least, is to click your cursor after the heading, click “Control, Alt, Enter” and that should fix that for you. You might have to experiment with that a little bit.

So we also have a style for long quotes, if you have a long quote in your ETD.

If I wanted Literature Review I would insert a Page Break by going to the Layout tab, choosing Breaks, and choosing Page Break. That’ll start a new page that won’t jump around if I adjust the spacing on previous pages. I’ll highlight it, go back to the Home tab, Styles, Chapter Title, and make it all caps.

[03:38 – At the figure]

We also have a style setting for figure captions, as well, so is a Caption Below so I’m going to choose that and it will make the spacing correct.

And the reason we’re using style headings is because it’ll make your ETD much more accessible for screen readers once you convert it to a PDF because it creates bookmarks that a screen reader can easily organize and look through.

If you turn on the Navigation pane in Word, which is under View and Show on my version, you can see what these bookmarks are, and you can even click on them and it will jump to that spot with the heading that you’ve set. And that is a little bit nicer when you’re working on your draft, too.

[04:19 – Other tasks]

So some of the other accessibility tasks you can do is adding Alt Text to images. So if we go down here to our image, we can right click it, there’s an edit Alt Text button; I would write a short description here, and that way when screen readers come across the image, they can explain what it is instead of just skipping over it.

And you can set the document properties, as well, that gives more information about the document itself. So here under Info, I can set the title, I can set the author, and I can also do this as a PDF as well.

Here’s our PDF, if we go to File, Properties, we can set the title, author, subject, keywords, things like that.

[5:05 – PDF version]

And lastly, and very importantly, you can export your Word doc properly, so that it is a PDF with bookmarks. Here if I go to Save As, more options, we can choose PDF, and then I hit Options, and I can say “Create bookmarks using headings.” And that way in the Bookmarks tab, you can see that it retains those style headings that we set. You can jump around and this really helps structure your paper for screen readers.

And if you have any questions about accessibility or formatting, we do have a formatting FAQ that can help with some of these tasks. Microsoft also has a bunch of great short tutorials.

[05:54 – ETD webpages]

So, we’re still figuring out the best way create accessible ETDs for MSU ourselves, so please let the formatting advisor know if you have any suggestions or any questions. We hope that we’re able to introduce you to formatting professional writing as well helping you be more aware of creating accessible documents in the future. Thank you for watching, and good luck!