Export/Save As a Text Accessible Version of PDF

1. Review Reading Order in Tags Panel

2. Review Reading Order in Order Panel

3. Export/Save As Text Accessible

4. Assistive Technology to Check Reading Order

Exporting a Text (Accessible) Version of PDF

After you have finished editing the reading order so that it matches both in the Order panel and in the Tags panel, you should save as or export the document as a Text (Accessible) file.  Doing so will generate a text version of the PDF and allow you to see how the document is organized and would be read by a screen reader.  Remember, the Text (Accessible) file is generated based on the reading order established in the Tags panel.

To save the file as a text (accessible) file:

  1. Go to the File menu and select Save As.
  2. The Save As window appears.  From the Save As Type drop down menu, select Text (Accessible) (*.txt) option.
  3. Click the Save button to save the file.

To Export the file as a Text (Accessible) file:

  1. Go to the File Menu and select Export > Text > Text (Accessible).
  2. The Save As window appears.  Click the Save button to save the file.

Once you have saved or exported the PDF file as a Text (Accessible) version, open the text file and review the text to make sure that it is displayed in the correct order.  You can use the text file along with the PDF document to compare reading order in the Tags panel and re-order items as necessary.  Make sure to go back to the Order panel and make sure you make the same reading order changes there too.  In our example of the Text (Accessible) version of the PDF (see screenshot below), notice that the text starts with "Sacramento State University" which is Alt Text for figure information so we see that the text (accessible) content is based on the reading order in the Tags panel.

Checking the Text (Accessible) format of the PDF to assess reading order.

Once you make all necessary checks and corrections to the PDF document to make it accessible, save the file with all the changes, and export the PDF as a Text (Accessible) file to provide students with an accessible alternate format of the document.

Video Tutorial - Using a Text Accessible Version to Assess Reading Order (3:16)


  • This training has been funded in part by the EnACT (Ensuring Access through Collaboration and Technology) grant. 
  • Written and developed by Sacramento State Online Learning professionals, Monica Range and Cryssel Vera and technical crew, Ivan Vajar, Ken Young, and Jennifer Wicks with guidance from the CSU Professional Development Work Group.


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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