Im not sure I could keep count of the number of times I have been asked this question so here is a whole post dedicated to the topic!
Do not use the print to pdf function in MS Word. This will overwrite all of your hard work that you did in MS Word.The Accessibility Guy
If you properly format your word document – you can export an almost perfect PDF file that will be close to passing accessibility requirements. By making a word document accessible, you can cut the time to remediate a PDF by more than 90%. Need some guidance on how to make Word documents accessible? The image below is a link to the Microsoft Word accessibility page.
Video Overview of how to convert from Word to PDF and retain the structure
Text Overview for how to set settings for export from Word to PDF
Ensure that your word document is fully accessible. This page will walk you through all the steps required for making a word document accessible.
Select File > Export > Create XPS / PDF Document
Select the options button to adjust settings before selecting publish. These options will ensure that you are exporting a tagged pdf.
Adjust the options to reflect the following:
- Page range set to all
- Publish what set to Document
- Include non-printing information has all three checkboxes selected
Open up your PDF and ensure there are tags in the document.