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How to Create Accessible Descriptive Links


The best practice is to use sans-serif fonts rather than serif or decorative fonts. Sans serif does not have decorative lines. The fonts include Arial, Calibri, Century Gothic, Tahoma, and Verdana. The font size should be 12 pt.—font for the body text. The font could be larger depending on the audience or page layout.

Apply These Guidelines to Create Usable Text Links

Each link must have meaningful text describing its purpose without relying on the surrounding text. While it is important to be descriptive, keeping links as concise as possible is also important.

The screen reader will tell the user that they have encountered a link so, there is no reason to put it in the meaningful text that it is a link. The screen reader will read it as “Link Read more on making Word documents accessible.” Also, avoid putting the same link close together for some screen reader users. It can get confusing. 

Many screen readers, including JAWS and VoiceOver, give users the option to read the Web page links as demonstrated in the image below listing links from this page. As the list shows, link text which is meaningful out of context is more usable in a list.

List of links in the website for used as an example.

Unclear examples of meaningful links would be:

  • Click here for how to add alt. text to the image
  • More info about makes your work accessible
  • Read more on how Word documents are accessible

How to Create Hypertext

Type your words you will use for your meaningful link. You can also use an image to become a hyperlink.

Example of meaningful text in Word document. The text is “Learn how to make your work accessible.”

Highlight the words/image and select “Insert” then select “Links” finally select “Link.”

The four steps to get to pop-up window to add the web address to the meaningful text with number next to each step.

Paste the website into the “Address:” box from the pop-up window.

The pop-up window to add the link to the meaningful text and with the address in the appropriate box.

Select the “Ok” button for the link to be added.

The “OK” button from the pop-up window.

The default color of a hyperlink is usually blue. Text links are underlined and have a different color value (lighter or darker) than the main text. This provision will help colorblind users find links more efficiently and improve usability practice.

The outcome from adding the link to meaningful text with the link being blue and underlined.
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