How to create accessible Word and PDF documents

Applies to: T4 Site Manager, Plone, Zope
Last updated: 23/10/2014
Summary: How to make sure your Microsoft Word and PDF files are accessible to the broadest number of users.

Before you start

Why do Word and PDF documents need to be accessible?

Just as web pages should be structured correctly to ensure accessibility, the same standards should be applied to PDF files, Microsoft Word and other Microsoft Office documents, as many users read these documents electronically.

Should you use Microsoft Word or PDF?

  • All Microsoft Word documents (and other Office files - Excel, Powerpoint, etc) that are intended to be read-only should be converted to PDF and optimised for the web.
  • Only Microsoft Word documents that need to be edited by the end user (eg forms) may be uploaded in non-PDF format.

Further information