Adobe Acrobat: Accessibility Wizard Make Accessible Action Wizard

In Adobe Acrobat Professional XI, the easiest way to double check that your PDF is accessible is to use the Make Accessible Action Wizard. To start the wizard:

  1. Go to Tools.
  2. Select Action Wizard.
  3. Select Make Accessible.

Acrobat XI Tools pane highlighting Action Wizard panel highlighting Make Accessible 4. This will open the Make Accessible Wizard. Click on Start and the Wizard will walk you through making your PDF accessible in three main steps.

Acrobat XI Make Accessible Wizard

1. Prepare

Add Document Description

Using the dialog box, add a Title, and, if applicable, add a Subject, Author and/or Keywords. To make adjustments to the existing information, uncheck the Leave As Is box.

Acrobat XI Document Description dialog boxSet Open Options

This step will happen automatically.

Recognize Text using OCR

OCR stands for Optical Character Recognition. Using the dialog box, choose the Primary OCR Language and click OK.

Acrobat XI Recognize Text - General Settings dialog boxDetect Form Fields

If your document is not a form, skip this step.

Acrobat XI Recognize Text - General Settings dialog box

Set Tab Order Properly

This step will happen automatically.

2. Set Language & Tags

Set Reading Language

Using the dialog box, set the language appropriately and click OK.

Acrobat XI Set Reading Language dialog box

Add Tags to Document

This step will happen automatically.

Set Alternative Text

This step will walk you through adding alt text for meaningful images and/or marking decorative images accordingly. Click OK when the dialog box appears.

Adobe Acrobat XI dialog box: Acrobat will detect all figures in this document and display any figures with missing alternate text.If you’ve already set all of your alt text in Word, you’ll be able to skip this step. Acrobat will let you know there are no figures with missing alt text. You may click OK.

Acrobat XI dialog box: There are no figures with missing alternate text.However, if you haven’t set all of your alt text, Acrobat will give you the opportunity to add it. The image should be highlighted. You may either add Alternative text or mark the image as a Decorative figure. Use the forward arrow button to go to the next image, if applicable. If you accidentally skip an image, you may go back by clicking on the back arrow. Once you have finished, click Save & Close.

Acrobat XI Set Alternate Text dialog box

3. Run Accessibility Check

Run Accessibility Full Check

When you’re ready to run the check, all of your previous categories should have a green checkmark.

Acrobat XI Action Wizard with green checkmarks indicating completed steps for sections 1 & 2: Prepare and Set Language & Tags The default checked options should be fine. Choose Start Checking.

Acrobat XI Accessibility Checker Options dialog boxOnce the full check has run, you’ll receive the Accessibility Checker report on the left side of your screen:

Acrobat XI Accessibility Checker report sampleIf you expand the items with issues in the report, you’ll find more details. If you right click on an item, you can choose the Explain option to give you some assistance.

Acrobat XI Accessibility Checker highlighting a right clicked item for ExplainThis will open a web browser with Adobe Help’s website.

If there is an actual error, such as missing alt text, a Fix option will also appear in the right click menu. Clicking on the Fix option will prompt you to make the appropriate adjustment.

Acrobat XI Accessibility Checker highlighting a right clicked item for FixIf you’ve followed all of the best practices for accessibility in your original Word document, your report may not note any errors. The only issues you may have are ones that require a manual check, such as logical reading order and/or color contrast.

Once you’ve finished, you may close the Make Accessible Wizard and save your PDF.

Note: The Accessibility Full Check may also be accessed via the Accessibility panel of the Tools pane. If you have a more complicated PDF or one that didn’t originate as an accessible Word document, you may need to tackle accessibility a bit differently. Manually making accessibility corrections in Acrobat takes more time but is more thorough and necessary for some documents.




  1. […] Once you’ve converted your PPT presentation to PDF, open the document in Adobe Acrobat Professional XI. Acrobat XI has a built-in Accessibility Checker as well as a Make Accessible Action Wizard. These tools will assist you with making sure your PDF is as accessible as possible. For more information, check out the Blog from last semester on using the Make Accessible Action Wizard. […]


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