How to make your minutes and agendas PDF files accessible
You must save any documents you want to publish to the web in PDF format as a PDF/A format.
- If you are using Microsoft Office 2010 and above
- If you are using older versions of Microsoft Word
- Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional and above
You can check if you PDF files are accessible by using the PDF validator online tool at pdf-online.com.
How to create accessible PDFs from a scanned document
In order to make scanned documents such as annual returns or Councillors’ register of interest forms machine readable you need to use Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
Perhaps, going forwards, these forms could be made available as Word documents for you or your Councillors to fill in. You would then be able to save them in PDF/A format.
How to check if your PDF file is accessible
You can check if your PDF file is accessible by using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Open your document in Adobe reader then go to ‘Edit’ > ‘Accessibility’ and select ‘Quick check’. If you find any problems you’ll either need to change your original Word document, and re-save as PDF or use Acrobat Pro. Depending on the version of Acrobat you are using you may find ‘Accessibility’ under the ‘Tools’ or ‘Advanced’ menu.
If you want to check if your original Word document is accessible before converting it to PDF, use the Office Accessibility checker
If you are using Microsoft Office 2010 and above you can do this by checking the PDF/A box when saving.
How to save as a PDF/A
- Under ‘Save as type’ select PDF (*.pdf)
- Select the checkbox for Minimum size (publishing online)
- Click on the Options button for more options. This will launch the Options window (shown below)
- Check the box ‘Document structure tags for accessibility.
- Check the box PDF/A compliant
When you have done this, click OK and Save your document.