CommonLook Office

Software that enables the seamless and easy creation of accessible PDFs directly from Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

Build Accessibility Early.

Not All Software is Created Equal.

It’s no surprise that Microsoft Word and PowerPoint dominate the work environment. After all, these tools have come to represent the foundation of business productivity. However, even as powerful as they are, they still fall short when addressing accessibility.

This is why you need CommonLook (CL) Office—the perfect companion tool for authors who develop content using Microsoft Office. Our easy-to-use software simplifies the creation of accessible PDF documents directly from Microsoft Word and PowerPoint sources.

Powerful, Yet Intuitive.

Easily Create Accessible Documents.

CL Office is the most effective way to create standards-compliant PDF files directly out of Microsoft Office (doc, docx, ppt & pptx) source files. CL Office guides users through the process of making accessible PDF documents that accurately comply with Section 508, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), WCAG AA, and PDF U/A standards.

  • Easy-to-use for new users, yet powerful enough for advanced users.
  • Exceeds the native accessible PDF functionality of Microsoft Word (doc & docx) and PowerPoint (ppt & pptx), or Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (pdf).
  • Quickly identifies and helps fix accessibility compliance issues, automating most tasks.
  • Achieve compliance at reduced costs by lowering the expense of accessibility repairs to existing documents.

Accessible PDFs from Word and PowerPoint.

Build Accessibility into Your Documents.

Whether it’s MS Word to PDF or MS PowerPoint to PDF, CL Office enables authors to design documents with accessibility in mind, saving time and effort later. A user simply inputs vital accessibility information before producing the Portable Document Format (PDF) file.

  • An add-in for Microsoft Word (doc & docx) and PowerPoint (ppt & pptx).
  • Fast and intuitive – does not require prior knowledge of accessibility software or standards.
  • Test and fix accessibility issues in the source file (Microsoft Word or PowerPoint).
  • Ensures maximum accessibility in new PDFs at the lowest possible cost.

Comprehensive Solution for all Skill Levels.

Document to Accessible PDF Features.

  • Support for Microsoft Word (doc & docx) and PowerPoint (ppt & pptx).
  • Easy to learn and use, with step-by-step guidance through the checkpoints.
  • Create documents that conform to leading standards: Section 508, HHS, WCAG AA, or PDF U/A.
  • Upgraded user interface with improved checkpoints and all-new documentation.
  • Content preparation checkpoints for most situations.
  • Complete verification – detailed coverage of all conformance criteria for the chosen standard.
  • Style mapping – manage style usage and mapping to PDF tags.
  • Table formatting – manage simple, complex, and presentation tables.

Book Your Demo.

A Demo is Worth a Thousand Words.

It’s easy for us to say that we are the world’s leading provider of accessibility software. It’s even easier to show you. Book your demo today to find out why we’re the #1 choice across the globe. Hint: It could be because our software is simple to use, and results in seamless accessibility for you and your team. Let’s get started today!

Schedule Your Demo


Important Answers to Your Important Questions.

Where can I find the latest accessibility documentation?

The CL Office update page is updated periodically and provides a changelog for all software versions.

Will CL Office change my DOC/DOCX or PPT/PPTX files in any way? Do I need to make a backup before using CL Office?

CL Office modifies the document under the following circumstances to achieve more accessible Word and PowerPoint files:

  • Any Alternative text added to images is set to the corresponding Word or PowerPoint object.
  • The grouping (or ungrouping) of objects in CL Office is committed to the Word or PowerPoint file.
  • NOTE: CL Office does NOT automatically save the document to disk but performs the above modifications in memory. When the document is closed, Word or PowerPoint offers to save the document.

Will CL Office make my Word or PowerPoint source file compliant?

As mentioned in the previous question, CL Office will make some accessibility changes to the source file, improving its accessibility. However, because there are limitations in MS Word and PowerPoint, these files cannot always be made 100% compliant.

If I check the No Textual Description Required checkbox for an image, what does CL Office do to my Word or PowerPoint file to record that choice?

CL Office stores this information in a custom data section of the file.

Does CL Office work with PowerPoint slide notes?

CL Office produces PDF documents from the PowerPoint slides alone.

PDF Accessibility Checklist.

How Does It Work?

How to create an accessible PDF document from Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint document:

  • Launch Office from Microsoft Word or PowerPoint.
  • Select the appropriate accessibility standard for compliance (e.g., WCAG, PDF/UA, HHS, or Section 508).
  • Test and fix identified accessibility issue(s) as listed on the checkpoint.
  • Once all applicable checkpoints are complete, CL Office converts doc, docx, ppt, or pptx from Microsoft Word or PowerPoint files to an accessible PDF file.