PDF documents are widely used due to their compatibility across multiple platforms. When creating an accessible PDF, it works best to start with an accessible document (such as a Word document) and then convert to PDF using Adobe Acrobat Pro. We recommend that you take a training course before attempting to perform any conversions to PDF. Ideally, within your organization, establish a workflow to funnel PDF conversions and testing through trained staff.
Tips for Making PDF Documents Accessible
Use the Accessibility Checker
Acrobat Pro’s built-in tool will tell you about possible issues in your document and give suggestions on how to correct them.
Convert Scanned Text
Documents should not contain scanned text. If it does, recreate the PDF file using the source document or convert it to include true text.
Use Color Carefully
Use good color contrast, such as 4.5:1 ratio of text to background, to ensure readability. Use texture in graphs to highlight points of interest.
Check the Reading Order
“Walk the tag tree.” Review the order of the tags in the Tags Pane to ensure the correct reading order.
Find these tips and more when you download the Accessibility Quick Card for PDF Documents or download the complete set for more important tips.
There is a statewide contract to provide Adobe Acrobat Pro to State of Minnesota employees who create PDFs. To ensure that you have access to the most current version check with your agency's Adobe Coordinator.