Accessible PDF Creation Options

It is possible to use Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to create accessible PDF documents without Adobe Acrobat Professional or CommonLook Office GlobalAccess.  However, using CommonLook Office GlobalAccess is comprehensive, straightforward, easy to use, and makes the whole process much less prone to error.

The following comparison illustrates the functionality and the limitations of MS Word and PowerPoint, Adobe Acrobat, and CommonLook Office GlobalAccess.

FeatureMS Word & PowerPointAdobe Acrobat X or XI ProfessionalCommonLook Office GlobalAccess

Check images for alternative text prior to PDF creation

Generate tagged PDF

Generate linked and tagged tables of contents

Word only

Generate PDF bookmarks from document structure

Word only

Check for headings

Word only

Check links for alternative text prior to PDF creation

Check and warn on overlapping objects

Check for available fonts, prompt for substitution

Check and correct style mappings for each document

Check for correct list structure

Check the use of color to convey information

Check documents and presentations in Compatibility Mode

Check for Conformance with Section 508, WCAG 2.0, PDF U/A and HHS

Support for presentation tables

Support for tables with row headers

Support for Scope attribute in header cells

Support for complex tables via linked headers

Convert DOC and PPT forms to accessible, fillable PDF forms

Step-by-step checkpoint-oriented workflow

Manage checkpoint usage for advanced workflows

Alternative text validation via regular expressions
After creation correction and cleanup
(Limited Capacity)
Use CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess