PDFs are widely used to provide electronic forms of printed documents. With a little care they can be fully accessible.

Accessible PDFs

  • contain text not just pictures of text
  • have clickable links
  • have alt-text on images
  • can be read by assistive technology in the order that the author intended
  • contain internal "tags" that assistive software uses to identify headings, tables and captions

There are a number of simple tools you can use to check the accessibility of existing PDFs see:

If your starting point is an accessible Word document then it is easy to generate an accessible PDF using Word.

See: Create Accessible PDFs (Microsoft)

If PDFs are badly structured, or have an incorrect reading order then these issues can be corrected using Adobe Acrobat Professional.

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