PDF: Let's Get Started...

Catastrophic Failure warning message from Explorer.EXE

Oh, No! Just what I need.
A Catastrophic Failure warning message from Explorer.EXE

"Compliance is just the start of accessibility – ultimately it is about the User Experience!"

Acrobat Set Up



View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes >

  • Tags
  • Order
  • Content

Reading Order Tool (Formerly know as the TURO or Touch Up Reading Order tool)

  • Access via Order Panel or Tag Tree
  • Set up Display
  • Editing Tags in Reading Order tool

Table Editor

  • Set up Table Editor
    • Access via Tag Tree or Reading Order tool
    • Set display
  • Enhancements
    • Click anywhere
    • Select cell

Accessibility Checker Options


The Source Document is Supreme

Things to consider when creating the source document:

  1. Does the authoring tool of the source document allow the author to create an accessible document.
    • For Example: Word has an Accessibility Checker to help the author make the document more accessible.
  2. Does the author know how to create an accessible document
    • For Example: In Word, are Styles used to apply Headings or are headings “created” by changing the font size and making the font bold?
  3. It is almost always easier to remediate the source document then the converted PDF document.  Do work in source document first.

Multiple Methods

  1. Acrobat Plug-in
  2. Application Save As
  3. Export
  4. Print to PDF: Untaged
  5. Other conversion tools or plug-ins

Varying Results

  1. Tables and Lists may be inaccurately tagged
  2. Resulting PDF may be untagged
  3. Custom tags may be created

Which is best with your workflow? Test

Reading an Accessible PDF


  1. Quality of the tagging of the PDF document (how accessible is the document)
  2. Assistive Technology (e.g. Screen Reader) support for PDF tags
  3. PDF “Reader” support for PDF tags
  4. Untagged document (reading order inferred)

Best Results

  1. PDF/UA tagged document
  2. NVDA screen reader from NV Access (free screen reader)
  3. Acrobat Reader (desktop)