PDF Accessibility Issues and Solutions
PDF files are a challenge to make accessible, potential issues include:
- PDF documents are usually formatted to be printed vertically, but computer monitors
are generally horizontal. This mismatch causes users to scroll PDF files more often
than on a web site, which can be difficult for users with mobility impairments.
- PDF files are larger than a Word file or html pages; it takes longer to load.
- The interface of a PDF file is not consistent across platforms and browsers.
Appropriate uses of PDF files:
- Posting material that uses technical fonts and/or specialized characters, such as
in fields like music, foreign languages and mathematics.
- Posting print manuals and print forms online.
Accessible Alternatives to PDF Files:
- Create content in a web page rather than uploading PDF files.
- Save files as .docx/.pptx/.xlsx etc. and publish via their original formats.
- If you scan materials from paper publications, use OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
programs and export the file as a Word document. Materials you scan shouldn't contain
a lot of graphics. If this is the case, you may need to scan the file as a PDF and
OCR the file. See "Repair" section on this page.
- Use “Protected Document” feature in Office. how to protect Office document.
If you have existing PDF documents or PDF is the original format, you can do the following:
- Replace the content; present it as a webpage.
- Replace PDF files with Office an document. Export a PDF file to a Word document to
save some of your work: Open Adobe Acrobat, Click on File < Save As < Microsoft Word < Word Document. Specify settings, and then save
- If you choose to publish a PDF, e.g. an image intensive brochure. Create alternative
version(s) of the same content, i.e. a web page, or a simplified, text version in
- If you choose to publish PDF files, you may need to provide a Word version, if a users
- If the PDF file is from a scanned document. You need to ensure it is OCR-ed. How to OCR a PDF using Adobe Acrobat.
- If a PDF contains written comments and notes from a scanned document, you can OCR
the document. Save the PDF as a Word Document and use the Comments/Tracking tools
- Make a PDF document accessible. make a PDF file accessible.