You need to ensure your source document is accessible. For example, when you create a document using Microsoft Word, you can improve its accessibility before you convert it to PDF:
- Use a proper document structure with headings and lists to make the content easier to navigate for users utilizing screen readers.
- Use PDF accessibility tools, such as tags and metadata, to ensure the document is compatible with assistive technology and meets accessibility standards such as WCAG 2.1 and PDF/UA.
- Provide alternative text descriptions for non-text content like images and charts, so people who are visually impaired can understand the information.
- Use high-contrast colors and accessible fonts to make the text easier to read for those with visual impairments.
- Use meaningful link text and ensure that all links are descriptive and clearly indicate where they will take the user.
- Embed all fonts used in the document and set the document language for use for screen readers and other assistive technology.
- Tag document contents in the form of tables and lists to be used by assistive technology.
- Include navigational aids such as bookmarks and links to help readers move around the document quickly and easily.
- Test the document's accessibility using accessibility checkers and assistive technology to ensure it is fully accessible to all users, including those with disabilities.