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Digital Accessibility

Color Contrast in Word

Although many of the standard colors in Microsoft Word do not have sufficient contrast against a white background, there are plenty of tools to help you pick colors with higher contrast.

How to Use Sufficient Color Contrast in Word

By using color contrast ratios that meet digital accessibility standards, you can make it much easier for people who are colorblind or low vision to read the text in your documents.

It is standard for documents in Microsoft Word to have a white background. Unfortunately, many of the standard colors offered by Microsoft Word do not have sufficient contrast against this white background. Microsoft Accessibility Checker will identify when you have Hard-to-Read Text Contrast under the Warnings portion of the checker.

Screenshot of Accessibility Inspection Results. There is one Warning reported: Hard-to-Read Text Contrast - Color Contrast.
Accessibility warning when there is insufficient color contrast.

Increasing your Color Contrast

As with color contrast on any platform, you can use free contrast checker tools (e.g., TPGi's Color Contrast Analyzer) to check your contrast ratios. In addition to telling you the contrast ratio of your font color against its background, this tool feature a lightness slider that can help you find colors with higher contrast.

Screenshot of the Color Contrast Analyser. The foreground color is #92D051 and the background color is #FFFFFF. The HSL Lightness slider is outlined with a garnet box.
You can use the lightness slider to adjust the color and your contrast ratio.

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