Creating Accessible PDF Files
A PDF document may contain logical structure information that allows the information to be accessible to vision or hearing impaired users. This is called a “Tagged PDF” file. Converting a file to a tagged PDF document is simple.
Create the file in Microsoft Word:
- Avoid using Microsoft Publisher. Publisher does not allow users to save files as a tagged PDF document. This will cause more accessibility issues which will require more of your time to make repairs; some of which can be very difficult or impossible.
- Use Microsoft Word to create your files. PowerPoint converts to tagged PDF format very well. Excel files can be converted to tagged PDF format; however, layout/content/structure should be in the simplest form possible.
- Simplicity. Keep content as simple as possible.
- Use Styles. Use styles to format text such as titles, headings, and paragraphs.
- Columns command. Use the columns command to create columns instead of tables.
- Image descriptions. Provide alternate text for all images – you can do this by viewing the image properties.
Review some tips on how to write image descriptions.
Supply a title:
- Provide a title for the file before converting to PDF format:
Convert files to PDF format:
- If converting from MS Word, check "Save As" settings to make sure that a Tagged PDF
will be generated.
Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Pro and run the Accessibility Check tool to check and repair any accessibility errors:
Please review the information on the following pages for more information about creating accessible documents:
- Web Aim: http://www.webaim.org/techniques/acrobat/
- High Tech Center Training Unit: http://www.htctu.net/trainings/manuals/web/CreatingAccessibleAA8.pdf
- Adobe: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/creating-accessible-pdfs.html
- Center for Teaching Excellence: https://www.cerritos.edu/ic/Accessibility.htm