Ensuring Accessibility in PDFs

While originally developed by the Adobe company, using the Acrobat software, the PDF is generally a format which is converted using another program. When doing this, it’s important that the PDF is equally accessible as the original.

Scanning an Accessible PDF

Using resources on campus, you can scan documents in a way that is searchable and accessible. This video offers detailed instructions on how to do so.

List of scanner locations on campus.

funky-text-check-icon_mjhkm6uo_l  Testing a PDF for Accessibility

The accessibility of PDFs are in part due to a hidden, structural “tagging” system. A way to test for this is to simply try highlighting the content in the PDF. An accessible PDF will allow you to do so, line by line. An inaccessible one will not:

Accessible PDF

Inaccessible PDF

pdficon  PDFs and Microsoft Office

Conversion to PDF in the most recent versions of Microsoft Office is easy. If a document is created using the General Practices on the Accessible Documents page, simply saving the file as a PDF will ensure accessibility with no additional steps. All students, staff and faculty can access the newest Microsoft Office software at the UMB Microsoft Office webpage.

For older versions of this software, steps to convert to PDFs can be found on the NCDAE Cheatsheets webpage.