Things to Consider Before Publishing a PDF in CMS

Adobe Acrobat has a PDF accessibility checking tool. PDFs should pass this check before being published. For people who don’t have access to Acrobat or are creating a PDF from a Word or Google Docs document, the following checklist can help.


  • Images have informative and concise alt-text


  • Document has headings
  • No skipped headings
  • Headings levels are logical and informative
  • Headings aren’t being used just for stylizing text


  • Lists use the bulleted list tool, bullets aren’t typed out by hand
  • Lists are tagged as lists and list items, not paragraphs


  • Information is best presented in a table
  • Tables are tagged as table headings, rows, columns, and data


  • All links have logical and helpful alt-text
  • Alt-text is unique to each link

Color and Sensory Characteristics

  • All text and images pass color contrast guidelines 
  • Color is only used as an indicator if there is an additional sensory characteristic used


  • Text is bolded or italicized with the bold and italics tools, not larger text or a different font
  • Text is written simple and concise
  • Text font is simple and readable, preferably in a sans serif font
  • Tags reflect the bold and italicized text

Further information on any of these categories can be found on the Accessibility Guidelines page of the Willamette University website. An accessible version of the information is available to print. For further information, contact the WITS accessibility team at <digital-accessibility>.

Willamette University

Marketing and Communications

900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 U.S.A.

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