Key Points to Consider

PDF files are popular for use on websites and other online access. However they can serve as a barrier to Users accessing your content as well as being difficult to maintain.

Your first consideration should be if this is the best method to deliver your content.

Online PDF Documents

These documents should be for specific use:

  • Printable fact sheet
  • Large multiple page report or document that is unlikely to be read online
  • Book extract
  • Online Form - if a web-based form option is not possible


  • PDF Documents which contain content readily available on your website
  • PDF forms that could be online forms
  • Spreads that require horizontal scrolling
  • Long documents with no linked table of contents
  • Multiple column layouts
  • Out of date or multiple versions of a document

Accessible PDF

PDF documents, particularly those created from scanned content are not automatically Accessible. An Accessible PDF has the following features

  • Searchable Text
  • Text that can be extracted
  • Interactive Form Fields
  • Hyperlinks and Navigation Aids
  • Specified Document Language
  • Document Structure and Tagging
  • Alternate Text Descriptions for images