This is an overview of creating accessible PDF documents using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Accessible PDF documents allow information to be readily available for assistive technology. Screen readers can easily navigate the content when accessibility is considered during the design process. This information will cover using the built-in Action Wizard and Accessibility Checker in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. This tutorial will also highlight basic PDF modifications for accessibility issues including accessibility set up, logical reading order, title, bookmarks, color contrast, images, forms (basic), tables (basic), lists, and headings. This will not only benefit people with disabilities, but overall usability will improve for all users. Accessibility is for everyone.
- PDF Accessibility Tutorial Part 1 (.pdf)
- PDF Accessibility Tutorial Part 2 (.pdf)
- PDF Accessibility Checklist (coming soon!)
- When creating an accessible PDF, always convert from an accessible document (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, InDesign, Publisher, etc.). This will save you time and limit the amount of accessibility edits to make in Adobe Acrobat.
- Always conduct an Accessibility Full Check first when you create a PDF. This will help you determine how much accessibility improvements are needed in your document.
- Review your page to make sure color contrast is clear.
- Use the built-in Read Out Loud tool to fully understand the reading order of the document. Launch the Read-Out Load tool by going to --> View, Read Out Load, then Activate Read Out Load (Shift+Ctrl+Y). To begin reading the PDF, click View, Read Out Load, then Read this Page Only (Shift+Ctrl+V).
- Consider Readability for content development
- Use a concise document file name that doesn't include spaces
- Make sure all footnotes or references marked as notes and reference tags are placed in proper reading order
- Adobe: Create and Verify PDF Accessibility
- NCDAE: Creating Accessible PDF Documents
- Coblis Color Blindness Simulator
- Simple Tables vs. Complex Tables by Penn State