Texas Tech University

Accessible Adobe PDFs

PDF documents are among the most widely used documents on campus. They have many benefits for online use, however, they present some challenges for accessibility. 

Creating Accessible PDFs

Most PDFs in online courses come from one of two sources: Word documents and scans. Below are instructions on how to correctly create PDFs from these sources. 

  1. Word Documents: Whenever possible, begin with an accessible Word document and then learn to correctly convert from Word to PDF.  It is simpler to create accessibility in a Word document than adding tags for accessibility in a PDF. 
  2. Scanned Documents: Creating high-quality scans is essential to the accessibility of a scanned PDF. Poorly created scans can be completely invisible to users of assistive technology. 

Correcting Existing PDFs

When working with an existing PDF, the best way to add accessibility tags is to use the 'Make Accessible' action. This action will assist you through a series of prompts in applying accessibility elements such as Optical Character Recognition(OCR) to the PDF. 

In order to use the 'Make Accessible' action, you must be using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

If these options don't meet your needs, please contact us at elearning.oa@ttu.edu and we would be pleased to assist you.

Helpful Links

Video: Create Accessible PDF from Word in Adobe Acrobat (15:57)

Video: How to use the 'Make Accessible' action in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (3:12)

Online Accessibility at Texas Tech