PDFs & Documents
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.
Yale also provides access to SensusAccess, a tool for converting files into accessible alternative formats automatically.
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)
- Lynda.com 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)
- Lynda.com has three courses that include information about Word:
To make PowerPoint files more accessible, consult the following resources:
- Make your PowerPoint presentations accessible (from Office.com)
- PowerPoint Accessibility (from WebAIM)
- Lynda.com has two courses that include information about PowerPoint:
Adobe InDesign provides substantial support for creating accessible PDFs, much more than other Adobe products like Illustrator. When exporting to a PDF from an an Adobe design tool, InDesign is always the preferred choice for accessibility. To make your InDesign files accessible, consult the following resources:
- Adobe InDesign accessibility (Adobe.com)
- Preparing InDesign Files for Accessibility (Adobe.com)
- Lynda.com has two PDF courses that include information about InDesign: