Create accessible PDFs

Adding accessibility tags to PDF files makes it easier for screen readers and other assistive technologies to read and navigate a document, with Tables of Contents, hyperlinks, bookmarks, alt text, and so on. Accessibility tags also make it possible to read the information on different devices, such as large type displays, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile phones. In Windows, Office for Mac, and Office Online, you can add tags automatically when you save a file as PDF format.

Prepare your source file

The fastest and easiest way to make sure your PDF is accessible is to run the Accessibility Checker first. Once you've addressed any issues found by the Accessibility Checker, Office will use that information to create accessibility tags in the PDF. 

Save an accessible PDF in Office

Office 365, Office 2019, Office 2016

  1. Before generating your PDF, run the Accessibility Checker to make sure your document is easy for people of all abilities to access and edit. 

  2. Click File > Save As and choose where you want the file to be saved.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, choose PDF in the Save as type list.

  4. Click Options, make sure the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.

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Office 2013

  1. Before generating your PDF, run the Accessibility Checker to make sure your document is easy for people of all abilities to access and edit. 

  2. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.

  3. Under Choose a Location, choose where you want the file to be saved.

  4. Under Choose a Folder, choose a folder that you have already used or click Browse for Additional Folders to choose a different folder.

  5. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.

  6. Click Options.

  7. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.

  8. Click Save.

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Office 2010

  1. Before generating your PDF, run the Accessibility Checker to make sure your document is easy for people of all abilities to access and edit. 

  2. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.

  4. Click Options.

  5. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.

  6. Click Save.

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Office for Mac

  1. Before generating your PDF, run the Accessibility Checker to make sure your document is easy for people of all abilities to access and edit. 

  2. Select File > Save As (or press Command+Shift+S), type the file name in the Save As text box, and then choose where you want the file to be saved.

  3. In the Save As dialog, go to the File Format drop down box. Use the Down Arrow to browse through file types, and select PDF.

  4. Select the radio button "Best for electronic distribution and accessibility (uses Microsoft online service)." This ensures the PDF is tagged.

  5. Select Save.

    Note: At Microsoft, your security and privacy are very important to us. To convert a Word document to PDF, we send the document over to a secure Microsoft service over the internet for conversion. The converted file is then sent back to your device immediately. The Microsoft online service doesn't store any of your file content on our servers. You can save the converted file in your preferred location. For more information, see Why does the Microsoft online service need to convert some Office files?

Office Online

  1. Before generating your PDF, run the Accessibility Checker to make sure your document is easy for people of all abilities to access and edit.

  2. On the ribbon, select the File button.

  3. Select the Save As option.

  4. In the Save As pane, select Download as PDF to open the Microsoft Word Online dialog box. You'll see a link to download your PDF document.

  5. Select Click here to view the PDF of your document and then press Enter.

  6. In the notification panel, find the name of your document under Current downloads, and do one of the following:

    • To save in the default location, choose Save.

    • To save in a different location, press Save As. In the Save As dialog box, you can type a new file name and choose the folder you want. Click the Save button.

  7. If you want to open the document or the folder, choose the option you want in the notification bar.

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