Print this webpage to use as a checklist or keep at your desk for a handy reference.
If you are responsible for creating or signing off/clearing files, you can use this checklist as part of your process. You may find it helpful to review the checklist before you create your file, and also to print out the checklist and check off each item after you have created your file, or when you receive the file.
Does the document file name not contain spaces and/or special characters?
Is the document file name concise, generally limited to 20-30 characters, and does it make the contents of the file clear?
Have the Document Properties for Title, Author, Subject (AKA Description), Keywords, Language, and Copyright Status been applied per HHS guidance?
Does the document utilize recommended fonts (i.e., Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, or Calibri)?
Have track changes been accepted or rejected and turned off?
Have comments been removed and formatting marks been turned off?
Does the document refrain from using flashing/flickering text and/or animated text?
Is the document free of background images or watermarks?
Do all images, grouped images, and nontext elements that convey information have meaningful alternative-text descriptions?
Do complex images (i.e., charts and graphs) have descriptive text near the image (perhaps as a caption)?
Do all URLs contain descriptive hyperlinks (i.e., avoid generic phrases like “Click here” and, instead, use phrases that let users know about the content of the linked page prior to selecting it)?
Are all URLs linked to correct Web destinations?
Are e-mail links accessible?
Has a separate accessible version of the document been provided when there is no other way to make the content accessible?
If there are tables, are blank cells avoided?
Is all of the text easy to read in comparison to the background of the document (i.e., has a color-contrast ratio of 4.5:1)?
Has the document been reviewed in Print Preview for a final visual check?
2.0. General Layout and Formatting Requirements
Has the document been formatted using Style elements (Heading 1, Heading 2) and/or Outline in a hierarchical manner (i.e. Heading 1 to Heading 2 to Body Text)?
Are page numbering codes used as opposed to manually typed page numbers?
If footnotes are present, have they been created through Word Footnote linking?
If color is used to emphasize the importance of selected text, is there an alternate method also used?
Is the list style being used as opposed to manually typed characters (e.g. Hyphens, numbers, or graphics)?
Is the document free of text boxes? (If not, but the final format will be PDF or HTML, then text boxes are okay).
If the document contains a Table of Contents (TOC), was it created using the TOC field (e.g., created using the TOC Command in MS Word)?
3.0. Document Image Requirements
Are multiple associated images on the same page (e.g., boxes in an organizational chart) grouped as one object?
Have all multilayered objects been flattened into one image and does that image use one alternative text description for the image?
Do images/graphics appear crisp and legible?
4.0. Document Table Requirements
If the document has a tabular appearance, was the tabular structure made using the Insert Table option (as opposed to manual tabs and/or spaces)?
Do all tables have a logical reading order from left to right, top to bottom?
Do data tables have the entire first row designated as a ‘Header Row’ in table properties?
Is the table free of Merged Cells? (If not, but the final format will be PDF or HTML, then merged cells are okay).
Are all tables described and labeled (where appropriate)? Note: In some cases naming/numbering of tables may not be appropriate. For example, a small data table in a presentation may not need a reference.
In table properties, is “Allow row to break across pages” unchecked?