How to create a Doc in Canva and make it accessible

This post will go over how to create a doc in and export it to PDF. Then, we will make it accessible!


Please follow the steps in the video on how to create a document in Canva. The export to PDF option seems to be improving over time. Below you will find some directions on how to fix tables and list items. For more detailed posts on PDF remediation, please check out this page:

Creating the Basic Structure

Starting with Canva’s new feature that allows users to create documents, we’ll be adding various elements to test accessibility. This includes adding headers, tables, bulleted and numbered lists, and more. Our primary goal is to ensure that the document, although simple in design, complies with accessibility standards.

Exporting and Accessibility Check

Once the basic design is complete, we’ll move on to exporting the document as a PDF and conducting a comprehensive accessibility check. This involves cleaning up tag structures, making proper use of header tags, handling list items, and addressing table-related challenges.

Here’s a closer look at the process:

  1. Adding Headers: We’ll use heading level one and two to organize the content.
  2. Inserting Tables: A two by three table will be added, with cells merged as needed.
  3. Working with Lists: Both bulleted and numbered lists will be added to test them.
  4. Image and Design Elements: Random designs and images can be added to beautify the document.
  5. Exporting the File: The document will be downloaded as a PDF, following the standard procedure in Canva.
  6. Accessibility Checks in Adobe Acrobat: Extensive checks and modifications will be performed to ensure complete accessibility.

Table tag breakdown

  1. Table Parent Tag <Table>
  2. Table Row Child tag <TR>
  3. Table Header Cell <TH>
  4. Table Data Cell <TD>
  5. Table on Page
Table Parent Tag <Table>
Table Row Child tag <TR>
Table Header Cell <TH>
Table Data Cell <TD>
Table on Page

Setting the Scope of Table Headers

With the reading order tool open, right-click on the table and select “Table Editor.” Select all table header cells at the top of the table, right-click and select “Table Cell Properties,” and change the scope from none to “Column.” If you have table headers on the row side, you can set the scope to “Row” as needed.

  1. Launch Reading order tool
  2. Right-click inside of the table and select Table editor
table editor
  1. Select the cells you want to set the scope for
  2. Right-click and select table cell properties
  3. Adjust the scope to either row, column, or both
setting the scope

How to tag a list in adobe acrobat pro

  1. List Parent Tag <L>
  2. List Item Child Tag <LI>
  3. Label <Lbl>
  4. List Body child Tag <LBody>
  5. Contents of First list item
  6. List item content on page
List Parent Tag <L>

List Item Child Tag <LI>

Label <Lbl>

List Body child Tag <LBody>

Contents of First list item

List item content on page

Step 1: Prepare the PDF and Create a Blank List Tag

Open your PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

  1. Right-click in the Tags panel
  2. Select “New Tag,”
  3. Create a blank List tag (capital “L”).

If you would rather an expert make your docs accessible for you instead – check this out.

Right-click in the Tags panel

Select "New Tag,"

Create a blank List tag (capital "L").

Step 2: Create List Item Tags and Nest Them

Manually create list item (LI) tags and nest them within the List tag. To do this, right-click the List tag, select “New Tag,” and type “LI” (capital “L” and “I”).

LI tags

Step 3: Add Label and L Body Tags

For each LI tag, create Label (LBL) and L Body tags. Right-click each LI tag, select “New Tag,” and type “Lbl” for Label and “LBody” for LBody tags. Drag and drop these tags into their appropriate locations within the LI tags.

List tag

Enhancing PDF Accessibility: Implementing Alternate Text

Video Overview:

In the rapidly evolving digital era, the need for accessibility in all forms of content, including PDFs, is increasingly crucial. To bridge the accessibility gap, setting alternate text within a PDF is a method that cannot be overlooked. This blog post provides a step-by-step guide to this process.

First Step: Tagging Images as Figure Tag

The initial approach to set alternate text involves ensuring that all the images in your PDF are tagged as a figure tag. Once they are tagged, simply navigate to the tags panel, right-click the figure tag, and select the properties button. This action opens up a section where you can input a description in the “alternate text for images” field.

Quick and Efficient Methods: Using the Accessibility Button

A faster way to set alternate text for multiple images simultaneously is by utilizing the ‘accessibility’ button. Clicking this option reveals an ‘Set alternate text’ command. Once activated, the system automatically detects all figures in the document and displays them alongside an associated text box.

This method streamlines the alternate text setting process and is particularly handy for documents containing numerous images.

The alternate text can be anything from a simple description of the image, like “a forest with Giant Sequoias” or “two robotic hands reaching towards each other,” to more complex annotations depending on the image’s content and context.

It’s vital to remember that images containing text should include the exact text as part of the alternate text, enhancing accessibility for visually impaired users who may rely on screen readers to access the document’s content.

Document Remediation: A Viable Alternate Option

Though learning to set alternate text within a PDF could be a valuable skill, you might prefer to invest your time elsewhere. For those who want to increase their PDF’s accessibility but don’t have the time or inclination to do it themselves, document remediation services are available.

These services take over the task of making a PDF accessible, freeing up your time for other endeavors. However, if you’re inclined to get your hands dirty and prefer doing it yourself, follow the steps outlined in this blog post or explore other resources for a more comprehensive learning experience.