If a PDF is, at minimum, able to be read by screen reader software intelligently, it will contain structural "tags." These tags define the structure (layout and content) of a document for assistive devices such as screen readers. A PDF that contains these structural tags may not, however, fulfill all requirements for accessibility.
A PDF can be checked for structural "tags" by using Adobe Reader or by using Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional. Further tests for accessibility ("full checks") can be performed using the full version of Adobe Acrobat (Adobe Acrobat 6 Professional and higher only).
If using Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional software:
If the document is "tagged" (contains structural tags), the section labeled Tagged PDF at the bottom of the Properties window will read Yes.
Option 1. Once you check for tags by following the steps above and your document is not "tagged," before adding tags in Adobe Acrobat, you can attempt to retrieve the source document (Word, PowerPoint, etc.). Add the structural elements necessary for the document to be accessible and correctly convert the document into PDF so that it will contain tags once you open it in Adobe Acrobat.
Option 2. If the source document is not available, you can attempt to use Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional to save the PDF into its original format. Please note that this conversion process may not maintain the look and feel of the PDF and will involve heavy editing on your behalf, but it is another option if you want to work from the source document.
Option 3. Another option if the document does not contain tags is to add tags to your document within Adobe Acrobat:
Option 4. You can also check for tags in the document by using the Tags panel (specify how to access tags panel here). If the Tags panel indicates No tags available, then you need to add tags to the document.
If you have difficulty accessing any material on this site or need an alternate format, or you just have questions and want to give feedback, contact the Accessible Technology Initiative.
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