Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

PDF from InDesign

InDesign is an industry standard application used for developing print documents. While many of these documents are used solely for print, many are converted to PDF for online access.

To make an Accessible PDF a degree of work needs to be accomplished within InDesign to achieve a suitable document for finalisation in Acrobat Professional.

Adobe offers a clear and comprehensive outline of the steps required.

Basic Steps

Below are the basic steps required to create an Accessible PDF document from an InDesign file. Extended information is available in the links above. You will need access to the original InDesign design files and Adobe Acrobat Professional.

InDesign Process

  • Map paragraph styles to export tags.
  • Anchor images in text flow
  • Add ALT information to images
  • Add Bookmarks, Hyperlinks and Cross References 
  • Define the content order in the Articles Panel
  • Add required file metadata to document under File>Properties

Export from InDesign as PDF

File > Export > Adobe PDF (Interactive)

  • Embed Page Thumbnails
  • Layout - Single Page
  • Page Transitions - None
  • Buttons and Media (All) - this includes links bookmarks and cross references
  • Create Tagged PDF
  • Use structure for Tab Order

PDF Export Settings 

Acrobat Process

Open the exported file in Acrobat Professional

  • Set Document properties
    • Identify Document Language (Advanced)
    • Set to show Document Title (Initial View)
    • Check Document metadata
  • Set tab order to use document structure in the Page Thumbnails pane
  • Check Navigation from the Bookmarks Panel
  • Tool tips display on images
  • Check links work correctly
  • Check Tags 
  • Run Acrobat Accessibility Full Check