Introduction to saving Word Documents as Accessible PDFs

PDF documents are a common fixture in both academic and professional settings. They enable the sharing of fixed documents across a large audience, but they are often not accessible. Making accessible documents in Microsoft Word and saving them as PDF/A retains all aspects of the document to create an accessible PDF.

The resources on this page consist of video tutorials and text directions for saving Word documents as accessible PDFs on PC and Mac.

Step by Step Instructions for Saving Word Documents as Accessible PDFs (PC)

  1. Open a completed Microsoft Word document.
  2. Select ‘Save As’ in the file tab.
  3. Select the location you want your file to be saved at, i.e.: Desktop, Documents folder
  4. Select ‘PDF’ from the ‘Save as Type’ Drop down menu.
  5. Click the Options button below the drop down menu.
  6. Check the box next to the ‘ISO 19005-1 Compliant (PDF/A)’ and press OK.
  7. Save your file. Now your file can be accessed by a screen reader such as Adobe Reader’s Reader function.

back to top

Step by Step Instructions for Saving Word Documents as Accessible PDFs (Mac)

  1. Open a completed Microsoft Word document.
  2. Click File tab and select Save As.
  3. Select the location you want to save your file (i.e. Desktop, Documents folder, or other location)
  4. Select PDF from the Save as Type drop-down menu.
  5. Select the button next to ‘Best for electronic distribution and accessibility’
  6. Click Export

back to top

Connect with the Instructional Accessibility Group

Improve your instructional accessibility through the IAG live trainings, access checks for individual materials, or course reviews.

Have more questions or need additional assistance? Email the Instructional Accessibility Group