Document Conversion Tools for More Accessible Files

Need to convert pre-existing documents into accessible formats, audio files, or convert into editable text?

Files and documents created or downloaded from the web (e.g. from an email, Canvas, or a journal article) may not always the most accessible and limit who can use them. 

Benefits of using a document conversion tool:

  • Students needing alternative formats can convert documents on their own and at any time of day.
  • Faculty can create accessible versions of course materials and convert scanned texts and PDFs to Optical OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
  • Finding it a challenge to get through readings? Convert documents to audio files and listen as you read along.

If you would like any assistance or have questions about how to make your documents more accessible, please contact Juli Haugen, Academic Technology and Consulting, IT.

Bowdoin offers students, faculty, and staff two self-service tools to help convert existing files to a format of their choice.

Ally for Canvas

When to use? Anytime for any documents uploaded inside Canvas.

Ally is available directly from courses in Canvas. Faculty, staff, and students will be able to download files as OCR-pdfs, audio files, .epub format and more.

Ally Information


When to use? Anytime to convert any digital documents and files.

SensusAccess is a self-service document conversion tool available to Bowdoin faculty, staff, and students. It supports a variety of languages, and converts many types of files, including images of text, Word documents, PDFs, and PowerPoint slides into more accessible formats.

Convert Files With SensusAccess