Creating Accessible Adobe PDFs

Our Accessibility Standard(s)

Standard 2: Image placement does not hinder learner navigation and includes meaningful alternative text to enhance learner understanding.

Standard 3: Color contrast is distinguishable but not essential to consume content.

Standard 4: Tables are simple, meaningful through alternative text, and logical for all learners.

Standard 5: Hyperlinks are simple, meaningful, and intuitive for all learners.

Standard 9: Documents include indicators allowing learners to navigate content seamlessly.

Do You Have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC?

To complete any of the following tasks you must download Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. UTSA has a campus-wide license to Adobe Creative Cloud where you can download this tool. Head over to TLDT Adobe Creative Cloud to download Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, then return to make your PDFs accessible.

Evaluate PDFs for Accessibility

Step 1: Manually Evaluate

Step 2: Use Accessibility Checker

Add a Title and Language to a PDF

To Update the Document Title:

  1. Open the PDF file
  2. Select file on the menu
  3. Select Properties
  4. Once in the Properties window, select the Description tab
  5. Under the Description tab, go to Description and add a title in the Title field
  6. After adding the title, press the OK button
  7. Save the file

To Set a Document Language:

  1. Select file on the menu
  2. Select Properties
  3. Once in the Properties window, select the Advanced tab
  4. Under the Advanced tab, go to Reading Options and select the appropriate language
  5. After selecting the language, press the OK button
  6. Save the file

Fix a PDF with Reading Order or Tagging Issues

You may opt to keep PDFs in your course. When that is the case, you must make them accessible.

If you have not done so, review our Evaluate PDFs for Accessibility videos found on this page.

If tagging or reading order issues are present, follow along with our video on Touch Up PDF Reading Order to improve your content.

Exchange PDF for an Alternative

Why Exchange PDFs for an Alternative?

PDFs are often cumbersome to tag and fix the reading order. Using an alternative format can sometimes be easier to make accessible.

Options for Alternatives

Steps to Exchange PDF

  1. Ensure the text in the PDF is searchable then convert the PDF to text
  2. Paste the content into the alternative of your choice
  3. Add headings and other accessible features available

Refer to video for additional guidance.

Additional PDF Issues

What to do with a Scanned PDF

If you have a scanned PDF, use the resources on this page in the following order:

  1. Watch manually evaluate PDF files to understand the elements of an accessible PDF.
  2. Watch and follow along with the beginning of Pull Text from a Scanned PDF to learn how to OCR your file.
  3. Watch and follow along with the Touch Up PDF Reading Order video to add proper tagging and reading order to your file.
  4. Add a title and language to your PDF.

How to Save a Word Document as an Accessible PDF

Use the Microsoft Office: Create accessible PDFs steps to convert Word and PowerPoint files to Adobe PDFs.

Where Can I Go For Help?

Do you have questions? Click the button below to email our Digital Accessibility Team.