Create accessible PDFs

Creating accessible PDFs

Tagged PDF files make it easier for screen readers and other assistive technologies to determine a logical reading order and navigation for the file, as well as allowing for content reflow when using large type displays, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and mobile phones. This tagging can be done automatically when you save a file as PDF format starting in Microsoft Office 2007 versions of Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Visio, or Word.

How does PDF tagging work?

Tagging adds a layer of information called “semantics” to a PDF document, which indicates what types of objects are included a file, for example: headings, paragraphs, images and tables. When you save your file as PDF, these semantics are identified and labeled by the Office application you are using and added to the file. Assistive technologies, such as screen readers and magnifiers are then able to access the tagging and use it to present the information to disabled users. If you do not tag your file, assistive technologies may not be able to understand what certain parts of your file are, in context, and present the user with a confusing interpretation of the file. In some cases, some items may not be presented at all.

You can prepare your source file for creating an accessible PDF file by running the Accessibility Checker (starting in the 2010 version of Excel, PowerPoint, or Word) or by following the guidelines in the following articles:

If you are using the at least the 2007 versions of Publisher or Visio, you can apply the principles outlined in the above articles to your file, such as including alternative text for tables and images, and using heading and paragraph styles for blocks of text before saving your file as PDF.

 Important    Including tags in a PDF file will increase the file size.

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Save an Excel workbook as a tagged PDF

After you have created an Excel workbook, you can save your file as a tagged PDF by following these steps:

ShowExcel 2013

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. Under Choose a Location, choose where you want the file to be saved.
  3. Under Choose a Folder, choose a folder that you have already used or click Browse for Additional Folders to choose a different folder.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  5. Click Options.
  6. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  7. Click Save.

ShowExcel 2010

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

ShowExcel 2007

  1. Click the Office Button Button image, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow at the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

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Save a PowerPoint presentation as a tagged PDF

After you have created a PowerPoint presentation, you can save your file as a tagged PDF by following these steps:

ShowPowerPoint 2013

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. Under Choose a Location, choose where you want the file to be saved.
  3. Under Choose a Folder, choose a folder that you have already used or click Browse for Additional Folders to choose a different folder.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and click PDF.
  5. Click Options.
  6. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  7. Click Save.

ShowPowerPoint 2010

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

ShowPowerPoint 2007

  1. Click the Office Button Button image, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

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Save a Publisher publication as a tagged PDF

After you have created a Publisher publication, you can save your file as a tagged PDF by following these steps:

ShowPublisher 2013

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. Under Choose a Location, choose where you want the file to be saved.
  3. Under Choose a Folder, choose a folder that you have already used or click Browse for Additional Folders to choose a different folder.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and click PDF.
  5. Click Options.
  6. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  7. Click Save.

ShowPublisher 2010

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

ShowPublisher 2007

  1. On the File menu, click Save As, or click Publish as PDF or XPS.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Change, and then click Advanced.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save or Publish.

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Save a Visio drawing as a tagged PDF

After you have created a Visio drawing, you can save your file as a tagged PDF by following these steps:

ShowVisio 2013

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. Under Choose a Location, choose where you want the file to be saved.
  3. Under Choose a Folder, choose a folder that you have already used or click Browse for Additional Folders to choose a different folder.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  5. Click Options.
  6. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  7. Click Save.

ShowVisio 2010

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

ShowVisio 2007

  1. On the File menu, click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

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Save a Word document as a tagged PDF

After you have created a Word document, you can save your file as a tagged PDF by following these steps:

ShowWord 2013

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. Under Choose a Location, choose where you want the file to be saved.
  3. Under Choose a Folder, choose a folder that you have already used or click Browse for Additional Folders to choose a different folder.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  5. Click Options.
  6. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  7. Click Save.

ShowWord 2010

  1. Click the File tab, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

ShowWord 2007

  1. Click the Office Button Button image, and then click Save As.
  2. In the Save As dialog box, click the arrow in the Save as type list, and then click PDF.
  3. Click Options.
  4. Make sure that the Document structure tags for accessibility check box is selected, and then click OK.
  5. Click Save.

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Applies to:
Excel 2013, Office 365 Enterprise, Office 365 Enterprise admin, Office 365 Midsize Business, Office 365 Midsize Business admin, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Enterprise admin, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Midsize Business, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Midsize Business admin, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Small Business, Office 365 operated by 21Vianet - Small Business admin, Office 365 Small Business, Office 365 Small Business admin, PowerPoint 2013, Publisher 2013, Visio 2013, Visio Professional 2013, Word 2013, Excel 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Publisher 2010, Visio 2010, Word 2010, Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Visio 2007, Word 2007