Case Study Examples and Step-by-Step Instructions to Convert Word Documents to Section 508 Compliant PDFs

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caBIG Checklist and Video – Overview of 508 Compliance in MS Office Documents


The cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid (caBIG) provides a helpful checklist for Section 508 compliance in Microsoft files (Word, PowerPoint, and Excel).  The direct link to the Word doc checklist is

Screencast Video

If you have 15 minutes to spare, there’s also a pretty good screencast video briefly demonstrating some of the automated and advanced features in Word and PowerPoint as they apply to Section 508 compliance.

The direct link to the screencast video is  Watch how they caution or apply the following elements for compliance.

508 Compliance Elements

  • Headings
  • Formatting
  • Master Slides
  • Bullets
  • Table of Contents
  • Alt Text
  • Styles
  • URLs
  • Track Changes
  • Colors
  • Tables – Table Headers, Table Issues, Merged Cells, Page Breaks in Tables

File Properties

The checklist and the video are also good reminders to populate file properties.

  • Author
  • Title
  • Subject
  • Keywords
  • Language

Overview and Instructions

The caBIG screencast video and checklist are great introductions and overviews to some of the concepts addressed in 508 compliance.  If you’re looking for detailed steps with screen captures, illustrations, and examples, we, of course created the Step-by-Step Guide to Section 508 Compliant PDFs.

Our step-by-step guide focuses primarily on Word (doc and docx files) and Adobe Acrobat (pdf files), but the procedures are easily adapted to PowerPoint, Excel, or even InDesign or other advanced publication software.

The caBIG screencast video is a great supplement with visual examples of 508 compliance tasks in PowerPoint files.  Too, some of the examples in the video may give you some ideas for unique work-arounds for difficult source files.

Additional Resources

We do try to provide readers with as many quality resources as possible for all your print, web, and multimedia compliance projects.