Browser Accessibility Features

Most browsers have built in accessibility features such as the ability to change the colour of the text, turn off images and stylesheets, increase magnification.  For full details, visit the websites of the browser companies.

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Increasing text size

Some users might find screen text easier to read by increasing the size at which text is displayed. To do this you should simply adjust your browser’s settings.

If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer, go to the View menu, select Text Size and then either Larger or Largest.

If you use Firefox, go to the ‘View menu’, select ‘Text Size’ and then select ‘Increase’.  You can have the same effect by using the keyboard and press the keys ‘Ctrl’ and ‘+’ at the same time.

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External links

All external links on this website open in a new browser window (indicated by ‘tool tip/alternative’ text).

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Downloading documents

Documents on this website are provided in a variety of formats. The most common are Adobe Acrobat PDF (PDF) and Rich Text Format (RTF). Most computers already have the software to open these document formats.

Software to open documents:

Accessibility of PDF documents
We use specialist tools to make PDF documents accessible. However despite our best efforts some PDF files may still not be fully accessible, such as: scanned and older PDF files and those containing complex statistics and data tables. Moreover in the case of documents from third parties we cannot guarantee the accessibility of non-DCMS/GAC documents.

Documents in alternative formats
We will make best efforts to provide GAC/DCMS publications in two formats, an accessible PDF and (text only) rich text format. We can also provide some publications in alternative formats, for example braille or audio.  Please contact the GAC at for details.

Adobe Acrobat support

PDF file standards have improved over the years and have become more accessible. However you may come across earlier versions of PDF files on our site which are not so accessible.

Adobe Acrobat Reader version 6 and above has incorporated accessibility features into standard readers.  For example, users can hear a PDF document read aloud, or scroll a PDF document automatically.  The read aloud feature can also translate the document  into a range of European languages.  You can access these features in the Edit Preferences menu.

If you use screen reader software (for example an audio-enabled web browser) which is not compatible with Adobe Reader, Adobe provide a free online tool which converts the content of PDF files to a format which can be understood by most screen reader applications.

You can configure your web browser to open PDF files either within the browser window or in a separate Adobe Acrobat window. There are detailed instructions on the Acrobat website on how to do so for different browsers.

Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader is by far the most popular PDF viewer but there are several other viewers available for download that will allow you to view and print PDF documents on a variety of platforms and systems. The following sites may help:

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File sizes

We also endeavour to ensure that the size of “downloadable” documents, such as Word and Adobe Acrobat PDFs are no more than 2mb. Documents over this size are clearly indicated.

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All images on this site include descriptive ALT (alternative text) attributes. Those that are purely decorative graphics or used for layout include null ALT attributes.

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The following three features are not available on the website when the user has browser scripting disabled.

  • Home page
    The carousel image scrolling is not available and only the first image can be viewed.
  • Database pages
    The Artists List and Advanced Search results does not have the “See more works by this artist” feature. The page is displayed with all the “more works expanded sometimes making the results quite long on the Advanced Search page.
  • Featured items
    The horizontal scrolling images function is not available and the images are all displayed below the first large image. Clicking one of the thumbnails displays the associated large image on its own page, i.e. not on the featured item page. The user must then click the browser Previous Page button to return to the featured item page.

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Further help

Abilitynet’s My Computer My Way provides good, clear advice on how to customise your browser, operating system or computer to benefit from their accessibility features.

Help pages
You may also like to visit our help page where there is more information about how to navigate our site.

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Contact us

Help us make our site more accessible

If you have a solution to suggest, please feel free to do so to the GAC web team via the following address:

It would be helpful if your e-mail contained the following:

  • the URL(s) (web-address) of the page(s) that you are having difficulties with
  • the nature of your disability
  • a description of the problem

Related Pages

Help page