Accessible PDFs from Word


All Microsoft Word users in all organisations should be up to speed with the techniques covered in this course, not least because doing it the right (accessible) way is quicker and easier for document producers themselves. It will also result in better quality documents for all readers, not just those with accessibility needs. The most common feedback we get, even from experienced Word users attending this course, is “I wish I had known this stuff 10 years ago”.

Our experience

We have over 12 years’ experience in training in creating accessible PDFs from 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 recently adopted EU Accessibility Directive.

Word versions

This course is typically run on Word 2019/Office 365 or Word 2106, but also covers the must-know bugs and workarounds for Word versions 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2013 (Windows), or 2016 or 2011 (Mac).

Course materials

Each delegate will receive a printed and bound course manual (typically 70+ pages) covering the entire course content and including numerous links to essential free downloadable tools and other online resources.

Core topics

  • Applying structure with headings, lists, tables of contents, etc
  • Avoiding link accessibility problems
  • How to write effective alt text for images, charts and other complex graphics
  • The limitations of Word’s AI-generated image descriptions
  • Optimising diagrams and charts for literacy software users
  • Image formats—avoiding potential accessibility problems
  • Understanding Word version differences, bugs and workarounds
  • The right and wrong ways of incorporating Excel charts and graphs
  • Designing tables for accessibility and usability
  • Colour contrast, issues, tools and techniques
  • Colour blindness, design considerations, tools and techniques
  • Text formatting—issues and techniques
  • Language settings
  • Understanding the limitations of Word’s built-in accessibility checker
  • Document management
  • Creating a tagged PDF
  • Editing tags and 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

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

The training was motivating, inspiring, interesting and informative. Ted’s proven knowledge was delivered in a comfortable manner, with easy explanations helping to engage delegates fully with the subject matter.

Chris Winter, the Open University

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