Making Your PDF Accessible

PDF documents are special because they are not meant to be edited easily, but they can also be created in several different ways. Some of the methods for creating a PDF can make them inaccessible for screen readers.

How can you tell if a PDF is accessible? The easy test to see if you can select a line of text to copy it much like you'd select a row of text in a Word document. If you're unable to select the text, the document is likely a scanned document and the screen reader will view this an image instead of text.

Adobe Acrobat DC

You probably have Adobe Acrobat on your computer to view PDFs. Unfortunately, this free software will not let you edit a PDF. Instead, you will need the professional version of Adobe Acrobat DC. But don't worry! The university provides licenses to faculty and staff. Just put in a Raven Solutions request for Adobe Creative Cloud...Acrobat DC is part of a suite of programs that you'll get.

A Word About Scanned Documents

You can still use scanned documents, but we'll need to work with Adobe Acrobat Pro to translate the text in the scanned document using the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology in the program. To do this you will need to run the Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker and follow the steps to make the document accessible. Sometimes, it is easier to just create a separate text-only version. If you need help making a document accessible, staff in the IRC can help. Fill out a Raven Solution request here.


Article ID: 101231
Fri 3/13/20 3:45 PM
Fri 3/13/20 3:47 PM

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Assistance with making course content accessible by creating captions, transcripts, and more