Create accessible PDFs with Office 2016

When you save an Office 2016 file in Portable Document Format (PDF), you have the option to “tag” it, which makes it more accessible for people with disabilities. Tagging helps screen readers, magnifiers, and other assistive technologies identify images, determine a logical reading order, and navigate correctly. Tagging also allows for content reflow on large-type displays, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile phones.

In this article

Prepare your source file

First, make sure that your PDF is as accessible as possible by first running the Accessibility Checker on your source file in Excel, PowerPoint, or Word. This is perhaps the most important step. This step makes it possible for the PDF converter to recognize the elements that have to be tagged.

To help make this step easier, follow the guidelines in one or more of these articles:

If you’re working in another application, such as Publisher or Visio, many of the suggestions in these articles also apply. For example, it’s always critical to add alternative text for tables and images, to use heading and paragraph styles for text, and to avoid blank spaces and lines.

Save your file as a tagged PDF

  1. Create the file in Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, or Word. Run the Accessibility Checker or follow accessibility guidelines.

  2. To open the Save As item tab and browse through your drives and folders, press Alt+F to use the File tab, then press A to open Save As, then press the Tab key to move into the Save As dialog.

  3. If necessary, press Tab or Shift+Tab to move through the Save As location options, such as OneDrive and ThisPC. Navigate through the drives and folders and choose the location where you want to save the new PDF.

  4. Press the Tab key to go to the File name box and type the file name if necessary.

  5. Tab to the Save as type combo box.

  6. Move through the file format list until you hear “PDF.”

    Note: To quickly move to PDF in the file format list, type P. Repeat as necessary if other available formats begin with P.

  7. Press the Tab key until you hear “Options button, ” then ppress Spacebar.

  8. Move through the dialog box options or press Alt+M, and make sure the check box labeled Document structure tags for accessibility is selected. This is the default setting. To close the Options dialog box, press Enter.

  9. Press Alt+S to save the PDF document with accessibility tags .

To learn how to save a file as an accessible PDF in Office 2013 and earlier versions, see Create accessible PDFs.

Share Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Email Email

Was this information helpful?

Great! Any other feedback?

How can we improve it?

Thank you for your feedback!