Accessible PDFs from Word/Acrobat


We have more than 12 years’ experience in training in creating accessible PDFs from Microsoft Word and Acrobat Professional.

This one-day course combines our standard Word course with selected topics from our Acrobat course. Completing this course will enable delegates to make accessible PDFs from Word, to apply various finishing touches in Acrobat, and to test PDFs for accessibility against standards, using both automated accessibility checkers and multiple assistive technologies (not just screen readers).

Course materials

Each delegate will receive a printed and bound course manual covering the entire course content (typically 100+ pages), including numerous links to essential free downloadable tools and other online resources, a WCAG 2.1 checklist and screen reader “cheat sheets”.

Word topics

  • Applying structure with headings, lists, tables of contents, etc
  • Avoiding creating link accessibility problems (multiple techniques)
  • How to write effective alt text for images, including charts and other complex graphics
  • The limitations of Word’s AI-generated image descriptions
  • Optimising diagrams and charts for users of dyslexia and literacy software
  • 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—avoiding potential accessibility problems
  • Language settings
  • Understanding the limitations of Word’s built-in accessibility checker
  • Document management
  • Creating a tagged PDF

Acrobat/PDF topics

  • Editing tags—overview
  • Essential table finishing techniques
  • Issues with browser plug-ins
  • Testing with automated accessibility checkers, and manually with a range of assistive technologies
  • Overview of relevant standards


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

Client testimonial

Ted has a very clear teaching style which made for an excellent day’s training for Rica staff. A lot of information was delivered and Ted did this with skill, providing us with very comprehensive notes but also making time for useful discussion—a must for all organisations committed to accessibility.

Chris Lofthouse, Outreach Manager, Rica