Creating Accessible PDFs
Exporting from Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) has several options for creating PDF files; the exact options available depend on your platform (Windows, macOS, Android/Chrome) and computer configuration.
The recommended and easiest method is to choose File > Save as Adobe PDF. Other methods (such as printing to PDF) do not properly include all the information necessary for a fully accessible document.
Using Word to create an Accessible PDF
This video demonstrates how to create an accessible PDF file from a Word document.
Exporting from Google Docs
While Google Docs (including Sheets and Slides) allows you to download a PDF version of a document, the generated PDF frequently fails several accessibility checks. The recommended method for getting an accessible PDF from a Google Docs document is to download the document in Office format (File > Download > Microsoft [Word (.docx) / Excel (.xlsx) / PowerPoint (.pptx)]) and use Office to create the PDF file.
Checking Accessibility in Acrobat Pro
It’s always best to start with an accessible document, like one created with Microsoft Office that passes Office’s accessibility checks. If you created or can obtain the original document, you can ensure that the accessibility features will remain intact when it is exported as a PDF file.
Whether you have a PDF you have created yourself or one you’ve acquired from another source, Acrobat Pro allows you to check the document and make any necessary changes for the best possible accessibility.
Begin by adding the “Action Wizard” tool from Acrobat’s Tools tab (found at the bottom under the “Customize” heading) to the Acrobat sidebar. From the sidebar, click on the Action Wizard, and then choose “Make Accessible” from the actions list. The tool will then walk you through a series of steps to make sure the document is accessible, ending by running Acrobat’s accessibility checker. Once any final errors are corrected, your document is complete and ready to be distributed.
Add Accessibility to a PDF using Adobe Acrobat Pro
This video demonstrates how to make a PDF accessible with Adobe Acrobat Pro.