Options for offering your public PDF content in an accessible format

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Accessible documentation is essential in today's world. While you may choose to continue delivering your content in PDF format, other options may better suit your needs.


If converting all of your PDFs to formats that are accessible to people with disabilities would be time-prohibitive, consider the following:

  • Does your content need to be retained? Check IU's Records Retention Schedule to determine if it must remain available.
    • Delete unneeded content whenever possible.
    • If your content must be preserved for legal, fiscal, or historical reasons, consider archiving it in the Archives of Institutional Memory (AIM). Documents that are still in active use should not be archived. As a best practice, documents placed in AIM should first be made accessible.
    • If you place documents in AIM and link to them from your website, you must you must still make sure the documents are accessible.
  • Does your content need to be publicly available, or can it be made available by request? If your content can be made available by request, you can make it accessible as requests are made rather than protectively making all of the content accessible.

For additional help identifying the best location for your PDF content, see PDF and electronic document decision tree. The decision tree can help you decide how to remediate PDFs and other documents on your websites.

Host long-form content in Pressbooks

PDFs cannot be directly imported into Pressbooks. If your PDF content is also available as a Word document, the Word document can be imported into Pressbooks instead.

Instead of offering your content as a PDF, consider delivering it through the Pressbooks platform. Pressbooks can host many types of content, such as handbooks, newsletters, and reports.

Moving content into Pressbooks does not automatically make it accessible, but many Pressbooks features guide you through making content accessible in ways that may be easier to achieve than if you were creating PDF content.

With Pressbooks, you can:

The following examples demonstrate how content can be shared in Pressbooks:

For help using Pressbooks, see:

Move PDF forms to a form-hosting platform

If you no longer want to make PDF forms available, you can move them to a form-hosting platform. At IU, the following options are available:

  • FireForm: FireForm is the UITS-recommended, self-service form-building tool provided to any IU unit or department without fee. It lets you build your own forms for data collection and create workflows to manage form review and processing. It incorporates two-way integration for moving data between systems and includes payment gateways for simple payment scenarios.
  • MachForm: MachForm is the supported web form processing software for Sitehost.

If your content must remain in PDF format

If your content must remain in PDF format, review the Documents section in Accessibility resources at IU for information on making PDFs accessible.

This is document biof in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2023-10-10 11:38:53.