PDFs make your content harder to find, use, and maintain.  It is difficult for users to customise them for ease of reading, and often they do not work very well with assistive technologies like screen readers.

Reading Lists @ Glasgow

Using the Reading Lists service is an easy, accessible, and copyright-compliant way to provide material for your course rather than using scanned PDFs. The service aims to obtain essential/core texts in electronic formats and to digitise key chapters using the Copyright Licensing Agency’s HE scanning licence.

The Library provides a list creation service, where reading lists can be added to the service on your behalf.

Scanned documents

Scanned documents can be of poor quality and are images, the text within them is not accessible unless Optical Character Recognition (OCR) has been run on the document.

Use Adobe Acrobat to run OCR on the PDF.

You can also use OneNote in Office365 to copy text from an image and paste it elsewhere. Use this to help you add alternative text or an accompanying text description to a scanned image.

Create an accessible PDF

  1. Create an accessible Word document  
  2. Select File Info > Properties (on the right-hand side) select Show All Properties and enter a title as a minimum.
  3. Export as PDF/XPS
    • Select File ->Export -> Create PDF/XPS
    • Under Options ensure Document structure tags for accessibility is selected
    • Choose your save location then select Publish

See also:

Anthology Ally

When you upload a PDF document to Moodle, Anthology Ally will check the accessibility of your document and provide guidance on how to fix any accessibility issues. Blackboard Ally will also provide alternative formats for PDF documents.