Left Justify Information
Justify information to the left, starting with the document title on A1.
For accessibility reasons, it is NOT recommended to merge cells within a table. However, outside of a table, if you have a line of text that extends across multiple cells, we recommend merging those cells for visual clarity.
Use Colon Predictably
To make it easy for the user to differentiate text that provides a title or instructions from text that requests information from the user, use a colon after the request for information statement.
Place the Input Field in a Predictable Place
When possible, place the input field (blank cell to input information) immediately to the right of the request without skipping any cells.
NOTE: If you must position the input field below the statement, add the word “below” to the statement. For example, “Enter address below.”
Then make sure to add input messages to the cell or cells where the user is expected to enter information.
Add Input Messages
Input messages are read automatically and ensure that screen reader users enter information in the correct place.
To create an input message, follow these steps:
- Navigate to the input field (cell or range of cells where the user inputs data).
- Go to DATA > Data Validation > Input Message Tab, or press the key command Alt + A, V, V.
- In the Data Validation dialogue box, enter instructions for the field to be read aloud by a screen reader. For instance, for the Name Field, a helpful input message would be “Enter your name”. For the Date Field, something like “Enter today’s date”.
Add an ‘End of Form’ Note
Let individuals using a screen reader know they have reached the end of the fields they are required to fill out by adding a message. For example, “Do not fill out information below this line” or “Fields below for administrative personnel only.”