Creating Accessible PDFs with InDesign

0800 156 0777

Make your PDF files accessible to everybody

When you are creating PDF content for your website it is important to ensure it is accessible to the widest possible audience. Not only is it good business sense, but it is a legal requirement covered by regulations such as the Equality Act 2010 in the UK or Section 508 in the USA.

The newer versions of InDesign contain a wide range of functionality that can help you to ensure your documents are as accessible as possible. Additionally Acrobat DC contains a variety of features to identify, test and fix accessibility issues.

In this one day course we show you how to prepare a document so it is accessible to people using assisted technology. We then look at running accessibility checks on the document and fixing any issues, as well as how to apply accessibility features directly to a PDF when you don't have the source file.

£350.00ex vat

Attend Online

Why not attend from the comfort of your own desk. Our Live Online Learning option lets you take the course as if you were right there, without even leaving your desk. It's like being in the classroom, and you can interact with the instructor and other delegates, without the hassle of travelling to the venue.

Creating Accessible PDF files with InDesign covers a wide range of topics to help you build fully compliant accessible pdf files which work for the widest possible audience. The course covers topics including:.

Accessibility Course Overview


  • What is Accessibility
  • Legal Implications
  • What you will learn

Common Issues

  • Poor Reading Order
  • Missing Alt text
  • Artifacts
  • Missing Bookmarks
  • Missing Meta Data
  • Wrong Language
  • Colour Contrast Issues

Workflow Options

  • Creating accessible PDFs in InDesign
  • Making existing PDF's more accessible
  • No source file - What are my options?

Accessibility in InDesign

  • Control reading order with Articles
  • Paragraph Style Export Options
  • Semantic Tagging - not just spans
  • Object Export Options
  • Tagging Artifacts
  • Automate Alt with Metadata
  • Tables
  • Master Items
  • Anchoring images for Flow
  • Hyperlink Accessibility
  • Handling Bullets and Numbers
  • Working with Lists
  • Table of Contents
  • Generating Bookmarks

Testing a PDF in Acrobat DC

  • Check the reading order
  • Read Aloud in Acrobat DC
  • Accessibility Checker
  • Explain and Fix
  • Tag versus Order
  • Proof PDF for Colour Blindness in Photoshop

Hands on Lab

In addition to being hands on with InDesign throughout the course, you will have the chance to build a short PDF in InDesign which contains accessible features and then run the Acrobat DC checker to ensure this is working as expected.

Creating Accessible PDF files with InDesign introduces you to elements of InDesign which allow you to create accessible PDF files.

You will learn to

  • Check your PDF files for Accessibility Issues
  • Fix issues in existing PDF files
  • Create accessible files from scratch in InDesign
  • Use features like Bookmarks, Tags and Artifacts
  • Adjust the read order for screen readers

Our scheduled courses are designed to ensure you have a professional and productive experience.  With 20 years practice we have had plenty of time to get it right, but we are always open to new suggestions as well.

Reasons to choose Highlander for your professional training

  • A proven track record - Highlander has been established for 20 years.
  • High quality instruction - Our instructors are certified by Adobe, Google and CompTIA.
  • We make sure you are happy - Our satisfaction guarantee ensures you leave with a smile.
  • Follow on support - We give you 12 months post course support.

What you get on a Highlander Course

Start and finish times

Our courses start at 9.30am and typically run until 4pm. The finish time is based primarily on how much information people can retain in a day without being overwhelmed, and can vary slightly depending on individual class size and ability.


For our classroom courses, each delegate is provided with use of a computer, setup with the latest version of the software they are learning. Our York centre has a mix of Mac and PC's, so if you have a preference please advise us when booking. If delegates prefer to work in their own environment and would rather bring their own laptop that is equally fine.

For Live Online courses we provide full setup instructions, but you will require a machine running a copy of the software being taught. Additionally a reliable internet connection is a neccessary requirement to complete the course online.


At our centre hot drinks and water is provided throughout the day together with a selection of biscuits and sweets.  

There is a scheduled 15 minute break mid morning and again mid afternoon.


There is a one hour break for lunch to allow delegates some time "off the screen".  For those attending face to face, we are located on the well known Bishy Road in York, with a wide range of popular cafe's just a few metres from the front door. The street regularly features in national newspapers and has been described by Wall Street Journal as "an enclave of gourmet delis and cafes" while The Times described it as "York's answer to Notting Hill".

Course Materials

You get 12 months access to our learning management system which contains a variety of content ranging from video tutorials and refresher exercises through to copies of course slides. Additionally post course instructor support is also available as required.

Certificate of Completion

All delegates receive a certificate of completion to show they have completed an Adobe Authorised Training Course.

Who should attend this course

This course is suitable for anybody looking to create accessible PDF primarily from Adobe InDesign, that are compliant with the latest accessibility standards. In orfder to complete the course you should have already completed our InDesign Getting Started course or have an equivalent level of experience.

Additionally you should however be comfortable using a computer to perform functions such as copy and paste, and opening applications and files. You should also be comfortable using the internet, for example for browsing and interacting with websites.

Comments from delegates that have taken InDesign training with Highlander

"Andy was extremely knowledgeable and friendly. He answered every question perfectly and made the experience enjoyable and informative."
Education and Marketing Officer, Surrey Wildlife Trust

"Andy was really friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. Despite his very extensive knowledge, he was still excellent at conveying useful guidance to complete beginners."
Leisure Marketing Executive, Make It York

"Great course and location. The instructor was very knowledgeable about all programs, not just InDesign."
Head of Marketing, Martin House Hospice Care

"Andy was a fantastic (and patient) teacher! He knew his stuff and was great at answering any questions I had."
Digital Marketing and Communications Officer, Martin House Hospice Care

"Very helpful - would definitely train with Andy again. Welcoming environment, small groups, helpful trainer"
Administrator, Scarborough Teaching Alliance

"Andy was very patient and answered all of our questions. He genuinely made sure that we understood everything and didn't rush through the materials."
Marketing & Development Executive, Instinctif Partners

"Andy was so knowledgeable, helpful and explained things really thoroughly and slowly. He answered all of our questions and really took the time to give us one to one advice. He has a lovely calm manner and is really friendly and approachable. I couldn't recommend him enough! One of the best trainers I've had."
Executive Assistant, Instinctif Partners

"Very good facilitator, very knowledgeable friendly and approachable. Also, very patient with those including me who took a bit longer to grasp the concepts!"
Learning Knowledge Manager, Willmott Dixon

"Friendly, patient and extremely knowledgeable. A good egg!"
Comms Officer, North Yorkshire Police

"Excellent training, very patient and understanding. Very knowledgeable about the software and always keen to help out."
Designer/Photographer, Kingstown Associates

"Overall great place to learn the ropes. Extremely helpful with all questions I had. Looking forward to the next classes."
Marketing Director, C W Fields & Son Ltd

"I learned a lot today. Content and course information was detailed and will prove extremely useful within my role. Andy was warm, friendly, patient, thorough and consistent throughout. He explained any questions we had overall in detail. Good job Andy! :)"
Internal Comms and Business Engagement Partner, Leonard Cheshire

"First time on a remote course. Was pleasantly surprised with ease of use."
Technical Manager, QOB Interiors

"Excellent course, really in depth and useful - I learned a whole lot more than I thought, and now have a refreshed perspective on Adobe capabilities. The scope of things covered was incredible, I really liked Andy showing us step-by-step how to implement certain features and then allowing us to try on our own machines. Practise makes perfect!"
Communications Officer, East Kent Hospitals University Foundation Trust

"Andy was extremely well prepared and knowledgeable. The pace was good for all attendees even though we were of mixed ability. Those that were less experienced were able to keep up, but as a someone with more experience I didn't feel the pace was too slow. The course covered exactly what it advertised. I've never attended training remotely but it was such an easy process and well executed. I didn't feel I missed out on anything not being in the classroom. It was great to have the practical element at the end of the second day - the check list was really useful to ensure I practiced everything covered in the course."
Publications Coordinator, Hafele UK Ltd

"I took part in the online training, which I was little apprehensive about. I wasn't sure i would be able to pick up as much. However, it was so clear and simple to follow that i don't feel i missed anything different to if i was in the classroom. Andy was very clear and led the sessions well. It was engaging and you could tell his knowledge was impeccable. He made sure I was following and understood what he was going through and made sure I felt part of the training even though i wasn't in the room."
Learning and Development Advisor, House of Fraser

"The instructor was brilliant, very knowledgeable, helpful, welcoming and friendly!  I was recommended this course by a colleague and can understand why! It wasn't overwhelming and was very easy to digest."
Marketing and PR Executive, Serco

"The instructor was great - very informative and clearly knows his stuff. He showed me how to do things that weren't part of the course and checked I understood everything as we went along. I've learnt so much in two days!"
Internal Communications, Network Rail

"The instructor was very friendly and approachable, he answered questions in a manner in which I found it easy to understand. It gave a great introduction to a piece of software that I have never used before and now I feel I can give a good go at documents using the software."
Brand Marketing Assistant, Virgin Care

"Great course! Really good information, learned a lot. Pace was good and not too overwhelming. The instructor was really helpful and explained things well so it was easy to understand and use the software."
Digital Print Supervisor, Shepherd Construction Ltd

"Very friendly and patient with all our questions! He knew what he was talking about and explained things in a simple way we could understand. Was very good at linking things together to back up points and expand our knowledge."
Marketing Executive, Kelly Services

"The instructor was fantastic - knowledgeable, patient, approachable...brilliant"
Head of Marketing, The Lords Taveners

"Excellent. Really helpful and a very good teacher. Worked at a really good pace and has excellent knowledge."
Marketing Officer, Help the Hospices

"Good intro - I feel confident going back to the office and using this software now. The instructor was very good - enthusiastic, and went at just the right pace."
Communications Officer, Houses of Parliament

"The content was good and having a whole morning on the second day for practical work was invaluable. The instructor was clear in his presentation; patient with lack of comprehension and, thorough in covering the subject. The pace was fast enough to maintain interest while not too quick to lose you."
Production Manager, OFSTED