Accessible PDF Documents

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is a useful tool when creating and/or checking accesible documents.  If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro on your work PC, please email the Helpdesk to request the installation of the program.

Check Existing Documents for Accessibility

1.  Open the document with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

2.  Click > Tools > Accessibility
Tools Accessibility

3.  Click "Full Check"
Accessibility Full Check

4.  Leave the default settings as it.  For reference, see the screen shot below:

Accessebility checker settings

5.  An accessibility panel will be displayed on the left side of the screen.  Any document errors will be reported.
Accessibility Errors

6.  To fix an error, right click > fix OR right click > Explain.  When Explain is selected, Adobe Acrobat Pro will open the Adobe Help Hub which provides instructions with how to fix an error.

7.  "Logical Reading Order - Needs Manual Check"  To fix and/or check the reading order, click the "Z" shaped icon.

Logical Reading Order

8.  Once clicked, the program will number each element within your document.  The numerical order is an indication of the order a document will be read using a mobile device.  Double check sequential order.

Logical Reading Order Panel

9.  If the numerical order is incorrect, click and hold the number located in the Order Panel, and drag to the correct location.  Acrobat Pro will then re-number all elements of the document.

10.  Next - Tag Structure.  This is the most important element to check when making an accessible document. The document tags are what screen readers use to read a document.  To check the Tag Structure, click the tag icon.

Tags Panel

11.  Check the order of the tags by single clicking each tag in the list.  When a tag is clicked, that piece of the document will be highlighted. 

Tag order 

12. If a tag is in the incorrect order, single click and drag that tag into the desired location. 

13.  Headings of documents should be labeled using a H1 tag.

14.  Regular text of the documents should be labeled using the Paragraph tag.

15.  Always run a full accessibility check after making changes.

16.  When you have fixed the accessibility errors, save the PDF. File > Save As

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