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


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:

Microsoft Word

To make Word files accessible, consult the following resources:

Microsoft PowerPoint

To make PowerPoint files more accessible, consult the following resources:

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign provides substantial support for creating accessible PDFs. To make your InDesign files accessible, consult the following resources:

Users can also refer to the Adobe InDesign Accessibility Guide which contains several predefined style profiles and instructions for implementation: