PDFs & Documents
Before distributing and remediating PDFs, determine whether a PDF is necessary. PDFs can be challenging to remediate for accessibility. Whenever possible, share content as a webpage and use PDFs sparingly.
Resources and Training Slide Decks
- Introduction to Word Documents, PDFs, and PowerPoints training slides.
- Advanced PDF Training slides
- Making Accessible Microsoft Office and PDF Documents Checklist.
To create accessible PDFs and Documents, content editors should have the following software:
- Microsoft Office
- Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
- Adobe Creative Cloud (if creating PDFs from InDesign)
Faculty and Staff with NetIDs can download these programs from the Yale Software library.
When addressing the PDF file itself, consider the following suggestions:
- Where possible, make your source document accessible before converting it to a PDF. Doing so will save considerable time and effort. See our accessibility resources for the following software:
- Scanned pages or books are more difficult to make accessible than documents that are electronic natively. Where possible, avoid scans.
- If a scan is necessary, make the scan as clear as possible. Avoiding writing important information in the margin of the scan. Use your scanner’s optical character recognition (OCR) settings to facilitate making the scan readable to assistive technologies.
- Consider also providing the information in a web page or Word file, which some users may prefer.
To learn more about creating accessible PDFs, consult the following resources:
- Adobe Acrobat Accessibility (Adobe.com)
- Create and Verify PDF Accessibility (Adobe.com)
- Acrobat Training Resources for accessibility (Adobe.com)
- LinkedIn Learning has two video courses about PDF accessibility:
To make Word files accessible, consult the following resources:
- Make your Word documents accessible (from Office.com)
- Word Accessibility (from WebAIM)
- LinkedIn Learning has three courses that include information about Word:
To make PowerPoint files more accessible, consult the following resources:
- Accessible Yale-branded PowerPoint Templates, light and dark backgrounds
- Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible (from Office.com)
- PowerPoint Accessibility (from WebAIM)
- LinkedIn Learning has two courses that include information about PowerPoint:
- Download Accessible Yale-branded PowerPoint Templates, light and dark backgrounds
Adobe InDesign provides substantial support for creating accessible PDFs. To make your InDesign files accessible, consult the following resources:
- Adobe InDesign accessibility (Adobe.com)
- Preparing InDesign Files for Accessibility (Adobe.com)
- LinkedIn Learning has two PDF courses that include information about InDesign:
Users can also refer to the Adobe InDesign Accessibility Guide which contains several predefined style profiles and instructions for implementation: