Accessible PDF Document


The PDF is one of the most powerful and effective document formats for people to use today. Creating accessible PDF file has been a challenge for people with disabilities, particularly for those with print disabilities. The easy and simple way of creating accessible PDF is from Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word provides a rich structure and style for you to draft your document. Please follow the instructions below to create your accessible Word and PDF.

Step 1: Creating an Accessible Word Document

  • Use the styles and formatting from Word to build the logic structure of your document, such as H1, H2, H3...
  • Use numbered or bulleted lists to list your items.
  • Use the paragraph spacing feature to do the spaces between the paragraphs.
  • Use the body text font at least 12.
  • Add alternative text or alt text to any non text elements, such as graphics or images.
  • Use column tool to display multi-column layout (Page Layout > Columns ).
  • Add a heading row to your table (Insert > Table > Table Properties > Repeat as header row at the top of each page ).
  • Use the Table of Contents for easy and pleasant navigation (Reference > Table of Contents ).

Step 2: Converting your Word to PDF

  • Ensure you have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer.
  • From Word menu, choose Adobe Acrobat and then select Preferences, you will be prompted a window of Acrobat PDFMaker.  Choose Standard under Conversion Settings and check the box before Enable Accessibility and Reflow with tagged Adobe PDF, and click Ok.
  • From Word menu, choose Adobe Acrobat and then select Create PDF or select File > Save as  Adobe PDF.
  • You will see a new window of PDF file you just converted from Word. Now you have successfully created your PDF file.

Step 3: Verifying your PDF file

  • From Adobe Acrobat, choose Tools, and Accessibility and then select Full Check. This will conduct accessibility check on the document .
  • From Adobe Acrobat, choose Tools, and Accessibility and then select Autotag Document if necessary.
  • Evaluate your text reading order by saving your PDF as Text file or selecting Read Out Loud from View on the menu bar.
  • Adobe Acrobat will allow you to edit or format your reading order by using its touch up reading order tool.
  • Save your PDF and enjoy reading.