Accessible PDFs from Word


We have over 15 years’ experience in training people in how to create accessible PDFs from Microsoft Word. We are ready to give you all the help you need to make your documents fully accessible and compliant with the requirements of the EU Accessibility Directive (The Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations).

Core topics

Please note that this one-day course does not typically cover forms, for which you are likely to need additional time.

  • How to approach the process of making an accessible PDF
  • Applying structure with headings, lists, tables of contents, etc
  • Creating custom heading styles for design flexibility
  • Designing tables for accessibility and usability
  • Avoiding link tagging problems
  • Overview of how to write effective alt text for images, charts and other complex graphics, with links to free online further resources, including online tutorials
  • The benefits and limitations of Word 365’s AI-generated image descriptions
  • Optimising diagrams and charts for literacy software users using SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
  • Optimising Excel charts and graphs for literacy software users
  • Colour contrast, tools and techniques
  • Colour blindness, tools and techniques
  • Accessible fonts: main characteristics
  • Dealing with footnotes and endnotes
  • Easy fixes for accessible abbreviations/initialisms
  • Language settings
  • Document management
  • Understanding Word version differences, bugs and workarounds
  • Understanding the significant limitations of Word’s built-in accessibility checker
  • Essential  finishing techniques using Acrobat Pro
  • Benchmarking against standards
  • Testing with automated accessibility checkers
  • Testing manually with a range of assistive technologies


  • Audience: non-specialist, designed for anyone authoring content in Microsoft Word
  • Participants: we recommend a maximum of 6
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Prerequisites: none

Client testimonials

I thoroughly enjoyed this virtual workshop. I initially had doubts about using Zoom to deliver the workshop though these were quickly dispersed. Going forward my preference will be to do all workshops by way of Zoom. Ted’s knowledge on the subject of accessibility is amazing. His delivery was pitched at exactly the right level and I felt I could ask questions whenever needed. I left the workshop thoroughly energised and ready to put my new found knowledge into practice.

Jayne Wiberg, Pensions Adviser, Local Government Association

I found the workshop very informative and enjoyable. I was aware of some accessibility concepts to some degree, but this opened my eyes. I learnt a lot and also saw some aspects in a very new light. As well as learning about accessible documents, I also learnt a lot about how Microsoft Word is set up and some very useful techniques that can be applied in the programme. I enjoyed learning a new way of working and that I came away with a lot of food for thought. I also thought Ted was a very knowledgeable and likeable trainer, and he had some interesting nuggets and stories to share. Ted also kindly agreed to change from a face-to-face class to an online class to accommodate us.

Louisa Guise, Communications Lead, ICCAN

Incredibly useful courses. All the elements were explained really clearly and the manuals provided are a great resource.

Danielle Vincent, Communications Manager, Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority

Ted delivered Creating Accessible Documents training to staff from a variety of backgrounds and departments in Sense and all found it a really interesting session, which stimulated lots of discussion and made everyone feel more confident about generating documents that will meet the needs of the people we support. We would thoroughly recommend the training to others.

Carol Jamieson, Sense