Making an existing PDF accessible

The following Adobe guide provides detailed instructions on how to make an existing PDF accessible.

Adobe Acrobat Pro is required to perform these actions. You cannot make a PDF accessible using Adobe Reader.

Allow 1.5-2 hours to complete this update.

You will need to ensure you follow and action all steps in the guide.

Mandatory steps to take

  1. Use the Action Wizard to make the PDF accessible
  2. Check accessibility of PDFs
  3. Manually fix accessibility issues

For instructions and an online demonstration, see the Creating Accessible PDF Documents in Acrobat XI video.

Accessibility issues to check


  • Image only PDF
  • Tagged PDF
  • Logical reading order
  • Document language
  • Title
  • Bookmarks
  • Colour contrast

Page content

  • Tagged content
  • Tagged annotations
  • Tab order
  • Character encoding
  • Tagged multimedia
  • Screen flicker
  • Scripts
  • Timed responses
  • Accessible links


  • Tagged form fields
  • Field descriptions
  • Alternate text
  • Figures alternate text
  • Nested alternate text
  • Associated with content
  • Hides annotation
  • Other elements alternate text


  • Rows
  • TH and TD
  • Headers
  • Regularity
  • Summary


  • List items
  • Lbl and LBody


  • Appropriate nesting

Reviewed 21 May 2019

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