PDF Accessibility Solutions
Table of Contents
Portable Document Files (PDFs) have been around since the early 90s. They were initially created as a way to move document files from one platform to another without losing any of the formatting. For that reason, PDFs are hard to edit and make changes to, by design!
As the world changed and technology became a bigger part of everyone's lives, PDF has become an even more popular format for sharing files. However, as awareness of web accessibility continues to expand, faculty have had to learn how to create accessible documents using other platforms (such as Microsoft Office products), but how to make those old PDFs accessible has remained a bit of a mystery.
While the Digital Learning Innovations office recommends using other types of documents (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) before PDF when possible, we recognize that sometimes using PDFs is necessary. For this reason, we've put together the following resources to help you make your PDFs as accessible as you can.
KSU has just acquired a new tool for PDF Accessibility: Equidox PDF Accessibility Solutions software makes remediating PDFs faster and much easier. To learn more, click the button below!Tell me more about Equidox
If you are interested in learning more about what exactly is happening when you tag or OCR a PDF< click the cards below to find brief video resources demonstrating how to check for accessibility and fix errors in an accessibility check. Each step builds on the last, so going all the way through is a fairly robust start on PDF accessibility training. Alternately, you can pick and choose which items to view in the order that you want as needed.
You can also download the same sample document used in each video to practice making the changes yourself. We recommend watching each video, then downloading the PDF document and practicing as you watch the video again.
Before you start, though, make sure you've got Adobe Acrobat Pro DC installed on your computer. UITS provides this resource for KSU Faculty.
2. Tag Paragraphs, Headings, and Images
Denote paragraphs, headings, and images using the Reading Order tool.
3. Create Accessible Tables
Set table headings and add descriptions to ensure that your table is navigable.
4. Set Tab Order
Learn how to fix the tab order error in the accessibility check using the Page Thumbnails tool.
8. Break a Large PDF into Smaller PDFs
Delete pages and break up a PDF into smaller chunks using the Organize Pages tool.
11. Rotate One or Two (or All) Pages
Use the Organize Pages tool to make sure pages are properly oriented.
12. Use the Adobe Acrobat PDF Converter
For some PDFs converting to a Word document may be the fastest solution.
14. Walking the Tags Tree and Paragraph Continuity
Learn how to check on your work and dive deeper into tagging paragraphs for reading continuity.
Keep in mind, this is a basic introduction to PDF accessibility. We will continue to add to it; but if you'd like more in-depth training, AWA recommends the Creating Accessible PDFs module on LinkedIn Learning as a great next step!