Tips for creating accessible PDFs using a PDF editor

PDF sits atop the most predominant file formats used in creating documents. It provides a reliable way to share and present documents, irrespective of the software or hardware in use. It also works on MacOS and windows operating systems, a reason it’s widely adopted across the globe.

Initially, PDF documents were static and did not accommodate any alterations. However, technological advancements brought in ways to improve the usability of this universally compatible file format, which led to the introduction of accessible PDFs.

As its name suggests, accessible PDFs are those that the majority of people can view and edit pdf with ease despite having a form of disability. It adopts assistive technologies such as screen readers, and braille displays to ensure people with vision, cognitive, hearing, and mobility challenges can easily interact with the document.

With a PDF editor, you can make pdf editable online with a few clicks. This makes it usable by a wide range of people, including those with disabilities.

So, how do you create accessible PDFs?

Understanding Accessibility Guidelines and Requirements

Before you get started with pdf modify online you must first understand the recommendations outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).

The WCAG are the minimum requirements essential to make it more straightforward for people with disabilities to modify and edit scanned pdf, as well as make a fillable pdf.

Some of the recommendations WCAG gives include the following:

Providing text alternatives for images and other non-text components
Designing content in a way that doesn’t trigger seizures
Maximizing assistive technologies
Taking the necessary steps to assist users in avoiding mistakes

WCAG compliance is an integral part of enhancing collaboration and seamless workflow in the office.

Structuring PDFs for Accessibility

To create a seamless experience while users edit pdf file online, make sure the document has the right structure.

Firstly, it should have the visual layer, which is ideally what you see on the screen; the entire document.

Secondly, there should be a text layer that contains the content text.

Lastly, there is the tags layer that supports assistive technologies and helps them distinguish the various components in the document, such as paragraphs, lists, images, icons, headings, subheadings, etc.

By leveraging the best pdf editor online, you can drag texts and objects to their best-suited location for the perfect page structure and reading order.

Adding Alternative Text to Images and Graphics

As you text edit online, it’s vital that your documents offer alt texts to non-text content. They are a much-needed additive since they describe the appearance of images, icons, or videos to persons living with disabilities, especially the visually impaired.

However, it’s important to be as intentional as possible with the words you use to describe non-text components. Make sure you are concise, accurate, and comprehensive. That way, you improve the overall user experience.

Proper Use of Heading and Paragraph Styles

When people that use assistive technologies need to work or edit pdf form, they must know what the document is about without reading it in its entirety.

Headings announce to users the file’s contents and help in quickly identifying the document they need.

But don’t stop at the headings.

Take advantage of the various paragraph styles available to allow the reader to skim through the document fast. This is particularly helpful to disabled persons that want to edit pdf but only a specific section, as they can glide through the headings until they reach their area of interest.

Note that you might need to use digital tags for the headings to make the PDF fillable form more accommodating to people using assistive technologies.

Creating Accessible Tables and Lists

Tables and lists require distinctive formatting if they are to be accessible to people that use screen readers.

When you want to change pdf online and create tables, be keen on describing in detail its column and row headings, which you can quickly achieve by using tags.

Note that complex tables and lists are strongly discouraged. However, if you have some that are a bit complicated, an online pdf editor can help break them down into simpler tables that are easier to understand. Also, resist the urge to merge rows and columns, as it makes it more challenging for users to navigate the document.

As for lists, properly formatting with list tags allows readers and users to better understand the file’s content. Make sure it visually appears as a list, and if the section contains sublists, clearly define their relationship.

Utilizing Color and Contrast for Accessibility

The way you utilize colors when you edit pdf google drive is crucial for an excellent reason; it could be the difference between conveying messages appropriately to people that cannot see full-color spectrums and a reader struggling to read the document’s contents.

WCAG recommends using foreground and background color contrasts in the ratio of 4:5:1 for PDF accessibility.

Also, make sure your PDF document has high color contrast to allow the majority of people to interact with your content better.

Providing Meaningful Hyperlinks and Navigation

Hyperlinks provide users with a faster way to navigate an article when working in your google docs edit pdf. So, it’s vital that your hyperlinks are concise.

For instance, instead of ‘click here to get more information on the California University survey, the link should say ‘Read the California University survey.’

Additionally, go a step further and include screen tips that share a bit of information on the hyperlink when you hover your mouse over it. That way, the user knows what to expect beforehand, which informs their decision whether or not to click on the link.


From robust Google integration capabilities to impressive PDF modification features, Lumin is the best online editor in the market. It moves beyond being a basic PDF reader, allowing users to mark up documents, edit pdf text and create fillable PDF free of charge. Leveraging its perks allows you to create accessible PDF files that

Lumin PDF is what your business needs to edit online and create accessible PDF documents that are easy to use, even for people that need assistive technologies.

Try Lumin PDF for free.

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