Getting PDFs ready in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Before you upload PDFs to the website, make sure they are accessible and easy for search engines to pick up.

If you are converting a Word document to PDF, please see our Create accessible PDFs from Word 2007 guide.

Fast Web View

Check that Fast Web View is marked Yes. If it isn't, save the file again by selecting Save as from the File menu. Save as will produce a PDF that is Fast Web View enabled which makes it download more quickly from the server.


Optimize PDFs in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

When you create the document, make sure that you include keywords in the content of the document. Using keywords consistently in the content, document title, and file name will improve searchability.

  1. Go to Document Properties under File - Document Properties.
    Select File, then Properties to open up the PDF properties window.
  2. First enter the title of the document, make sure it matches the actual name presented on the file when it is opened. The title is most important. Make sure you use a descriptive title containing keywords that may be part of a user's search. Then type in the author, or who put together the document. Lastly, put in keywords, or words people will use to search for your document, in the keywords box. These three steps will help your PDF be more accessible and searchable.
    First fill in the Title, then the Author, then insert keywords search engines should use to find and organize your document.
  3. In this same Document Properties dialog box, you can view your PDF file size.
  4. Save your PDF file with a brief (25 characters or less) yet informative file name. The file name will appear in the Web address (the url). Do not include any spaces in the file name.


Make PDFs accessible

Tags identify specific elements in the document such as text and images for screen readers to use. It may already have tags. If so, that will save you a step.

Find out if the document has already been tagged in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC:

  1. Open up your document in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
  2. Click on the purple Accessibility button on the right hand menu.
  3. This will open the Accessibillity tools. The righthand side should have a new menu, starting with Autotag Document.
  4. Check to make sure the document meets our requirements by selecting Full Check on the righthand menu.
    Select Full Check to make sure you have everything accessible
  5. Ensure the Select All box has a checkmark and then click the Start Checking button. This will show you what needs to be fixed on the lefthand side.
  6. Right click on any issues that have a question mark or X on them and select Explain or Fix. Follow the directions for each to fix all issues.
    Right click on any list item with a question mark or X, then select Explain.
  7. Once you have changed all of the issues in the Full Check completely, save your document.

Find out if the document has been tagged in older versions of Adobe Acrobat

Please visit our Make accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat Professional guide if using an older version of Adobe Acrobat.


Linking to the document

After ensuring your PDF is optimized and accessible, upload it to the site.

When you link to a PDF or any document, let your site visitors know the file type and size of the document. 

Use this format:

File name (pdf size)

Example: WebToolkitAccessiblePDFGuide (pdf 5 mb)