Create an accessible list in Microsoft Word

Overview

When you include a list in a Microsoft Word document, create the list using Word's formatting tools, as opposed to typing numbers or dashes to denote list items. Using the list formatting tools helps make the content more accessible for screen readers, and allows the screen reader to determine how many items are in a list.

Choose a list type

There are two types of lists in Word, ordered and unordered:

In Word, both list options are available in the Home tab on the ribbon, in the "Paragraph" group:

List options

Create a list

To create a list in Word:

  1. Click the Home tab on the ribbon, if necessary.
  2. In the "Paragraph" group on the ribbon, click the appropriate icon for the type of list you want to make: Numbering button for an ordered list, or Bullets button for an unordered list.
  3. Begin typing to add text to the list item. Press Enter when finished to create a new list item.
  4. To change the list item level:
    • Press Tab to move to the next item level.
    • Press Shift-Tab to move to the previous item level.
  5. To change the style of the bullets or numbers in the list, click Multilevel list button, and choose the style of list you wish to use.