Travelling along a technological highway!

Why Use Structured Documents?

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By using inbuilt Styles and Structures to format headings you will be increasing accessibility of documents.  Microsoft Word has several inbuilt styles of heading, allowing users to select their own preferred style.

The benefits of using structured documents for our dyslexic and EAL pupils is enormous:

  • Pupils don’t have to trawl through endless pages of text to find the relevant piece of information
  • Pupils can navigate directly to the required section relatively easily through the Document Map (navigation panel) which provides an overview of the entire document
  • A table of contents can be created from a structured document and paragraphs can be moved around to change the layout when editing
  • Predefined headings enable consistency of style throughout a document

Benefits for partially sighted and disabled pupils:

  • The ability to use ‘textflow’ has particular relevance for visually impaired uses using screen magnifiers.  Not using ‘textflow’ would otherwise involve much horizontal as well as vertical scrolling.
  • Motor impaired users can access the whole document using relatively few keyboard/mouse movements

Using structured documents will save a great deal of time and alleviate some of the barriers to learning that our pupils face.


Author: carmelabell

Teaching assistant working with dyslexic children in the primary sector.

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