Create accessible PDF files directly from Word & PowerPoint

On September 23, 2018 a new EU directive entered into force, which aims to ensure the availability of public companies’ websites and mobile applications.

The directive means that, in the future, public companies must ensure that all documents on their websites are optimised for accessibility for people with visual impairments. Specifically, this means that i.e. PDF files stored on the site must be accessible with the screen reader used by the visually impaired.

At SkabelonDesign, we have developed a solution to manage this, allowing you to continue your work processes confident that you are complying with the new directive.

Test the availability of your documents

In the month of September our users identified 57.103 errors in their online documents through the AccessibilityAssistant.
You can get a free status review of your PDF-document availability online.
Review your accessibility here

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With AccessibilityAssistant, you can easily and quickly create accessible PDF files directly in Microsoft PowerPoint and Word. An otherwise cumbersome process becomes a natural part of the workflow and allows everyone to have control over the documents from start to finish. The solution works directly in your templates, no matter if you’re working in in Word or PowerPoint.

Works in PowerPoint and Word

In order to get the best output, your template should follow certain best practice guidelines. There are no specific requirements, but much is being done in the Word template already to optimise screen viewing.

In order to make documents accessible, a range of things need to be considered. SkabelonDesign’s solution opens as a task pane directly in Word or PowerPoint and guides the user through the document, focusing on accessibility. With SkabelonDesign’s tool, the user can easily edit and add metadata, which makes the document accessible to a screen reader.

Your finished PDF file

After the user has optimised the document, save it as a PDF file as normal. The functionality from the Word or PowerPoint document is maintained, and the solution ensures that, technology-wise, the content can be read by a screen reader. Among other things, certain types of information are moved to the right places, and the PDF file is flagged as PDF/UA.

Read more

Directive (EU) 2016/2102 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2016 on the accessibility of the websites and mobile applications of public sector bodies. See more here


PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility) standard. See more here

Screenshot AccessibilityAssistant taskpane

Increased accessibility

The aim of the EU directive is to give people with visual impairment better access to public services. Among other things, public companies must therefore ensure accessibility of documents uploaded to the company website. One of the requirements is that the visually impaired must be able to access files and have them read aloud using a screen reader. This imposes a number of requirements to documents, and for many public companies will mean that the process of publishing PDF files on the website becomes more resource-intensive. To help you avoid that, we have developed a solution that allows all the company’s Microsoft Office Word users to easily create accessible PDF files.

SkabelonDesign’s solution allows users to work on optimising accessibility directly in a Word document. The solution leans on PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility), and the final PDF created with the solution is flagged with this standard in order to help screen readers identify available documents.