How to make your email signature accessible in Outlook
The approved email signature for the university does not include images such as logos, ranking badges, etc. However, if you choose to use any graphic or image, the number must be limited and alt-text is mandatory for accessibility purposes.
The following tutorial shows a way to create an accessible email signature in Outlook 2016 for Windows. This is a bit of a work around from some other methods.
- Create a new email and type (or paste) the text and images you want in your signature. I pasted mine from the toolkit available on the brand website. Alternatively, you can insert an image from your computer into your new email.
After your image is placed, Right Click on the image and Choose > Picture
- Choose the last tab to change the Alt Text. I changed mine to "Florida International University Logo" in the box.
- Copy your signature and close the email without saving. Next, Click on the File button to the left of Home.
- Choose Options from the list on the left.
- Choose Mail from the left side and then Choose > Signatures.
- Create New, name your signature and then Paste your copied signature text and image into the body.
Your email signature is now pasted in and will retain the Alt Text you added in Step
Finally, I wanted to make sure I was within the Level A/AA WCAG 2.0 guidelines. I changed the text size to 10 points and removed the letters before the phone number, email address and web address.
These letters will confuse a screen reader and text-to-speech software by reading the letters aloud. I also chose to include my signature in replies and forwards. You can now click Ok.
- Choose Preferences in Outlook
- Choose Signatures
- Choose to Add (the plus symbol) or Edit
- This is the short default Florida International University email signature from our marketing department. There is one image included.
Right click on the image you need to add alternative text to, in this case it's the Florida International University logo.
- Make sure the text reads ‘Florida International University Logo’ rather than a generic title such as ‘image_123.png’.
This window ensures that there is a meaningful description that will help screen readers and text-to-speech software.
At FIU we follow Level A/AA WCAG 2.0 guidelines.
I changed the text size to 10 points and removed the letters before the phone number, email address and web address.
Make sure you have the full word instead of acronyms so that the screen reader and text-to-speech software won’t get confused.