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Creating New PDF Document from Word 2010

Microsoft Word

Note: The following instructions can also be used to convert PowerPoint files to PDF.

The majority of the PDF files on the web were probably created in Microsoft Word. The good news is that it is possible to create accessible PDF files in Office, as long as the following requirements are met:

  1. The file must be accessible. That includes providing alternative text for images, proper headings, appropriate link text, etc. For more information, read our tutorial on Microsoft Word.
  2. Office 2000-2003 users must have Acrobat installed, as well as the add-in. Office 2007 users must have either Acrobat or the Microsoft PDF add-in installed. Office 2010 users can create tagged PDF files natively or with the Adobe add-in.
  3. The file must be exported correctly. If a file is created by printing to PDF, it will not be correctly tagged.

Word 2010

Adobe Add-in


The Acrobat add-in is only available to users who have Acrobat X installed and are using the 32-bit version of Office 2010.

The Adobe Add-in, also called PDFMaker, is the best choice to create high-quality tagged PDF files. With the Adobe add-in installed, you can export to PDF one of two ways:

Select File > Save as Adobe PDF.

Word 2010 screenshot with Save as Adobe PDF highlighted.

Or you can select Create PDF from the Acrobat ribbon.

The Word 2010 Acrobat ribbon.

Either one of these options will open the same dialog box. The program should create a tagged PDF file by default. If this is not the case, select Preferences from the Acrobat ribbon and ensure that Enable Accessibility and Reflow with tagged Adobe PDF is selected.


Save as tagged PDF natively

Word 2010 allows you to create tagged PDF files without installing Acrobat. The tagging process may not be quite as good as with the Adobe add-in, but most content, such as heading levels, lists, and alternative text for images is exported. If you want to verify the accessibility of the PDF or edit the tags that are created, you will still need Acrobat Professional.

To convert to PDF using the Microsoft add-in, Select File > Save As, and under Save as type: select PDF. Before you save the file, select Options and ensure that the Document structure tags for accessibility option is selected.

Document structur tags for accessibility

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