How to Make an Accessible PDF
To make a PDF document accessible to screen reader users, you have to tag the elements in your document (in Word, you would use Styles).
There are two main ways to create accessible PDFs:
- Use Word, PowerPoint, etc., to create a tagged document and then convert it to a PDF
- Use Adobe Acrobat Pro to tag an inaccessible PDF that was scanned or made using other software.
You may want to know more about what accessibility is, in regards to digital content, or how to test whether or not your content is accessible.
When to Make an Accessible PDF
Using the Decision Chart below, you can determine whether the document you need should be a Word document, Online Doc in Connect, Online Web Form, Web page or PDF.
- If you need user signature or variable information, you should consider requesting an online web form or editable PDF.
- If the audience using the form are members of ALA, with access to ALA Connect, an Online Document is recommended.
- If you are compiling data to used as an informational resource, a Web page can do the trick, unless a PDF is preferable, depending on the size and how you plan to distribute it.
- Use Word documents with caution, as there are constantly new versions of the program being released as well as the issue of having several users revising the same document, cause issues with version control.