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  6.  — Accessibility in Adobe Acrobat

Photo credit Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat

Accessibility in Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat’s built-in accessibility tools helps you design PDF documents that are compatible with screen reading software; an essential tool for users with impaired visibility. Here we cover the four main aspects of creating accessible documents.

Headings

If the inbuilt heading styles have been used correctly in Microsoft Office and Adobe InDesign, generating a PDF from these documents should result in a formatted document with correct heading hierarchy.

To check or fix the heading hierarchy, first navigate to All tools, then to Prepare for accessibility.

First, we recommend that you ‘autotag’ the content. Tagging identifies the individual components as paragraph text, headings, figures/images etc.
To begin autotagging, select Autotag document.

Adobe Acrobat autotag

Adobe Acrobat can autotag the contents of a document

 

Select Reading order to check that the contents of the PDF have been tagged correctly.

Adobe Acrobat -  Read Order panel

Adobe Acrobat – check the tagging of PDFs by opening the Read Order panel

If any components have been incorrectly tagged, use the Reading order panel to select the section and correct the tag. Once you have completed tagging content, close the Reading order panel. We recommend you also run an Accessibility check, which can be found under the Prepare for accessibility menu.

A tagged heading in Adobe Acrobat

A tagged heading in Adobe Acrobat. Acrobat shows the heading as highlighted in pale blue.

Adobe Acrobat - Reading Order panel

Adobe Acrobat – incorrectly tagged components can be changed in the Reading Order panel

When creating links, consider where they lead to, and label them accordingly. For example, write “Visit Student Services .” rather than “For Student Services, click here.”

Tips to avoid problems

  • Keep linked phrases short, 3-5 words.
  • Links should describe what they are linking to.
  • Links should be in contrasting colours to be mindful of learners with low vision or colour blindness.
  • Avoid linking headings.
  • Never use a URL for the link text—screen readers will read out the URL verbatim, e.g. www.canvas…

Alt text

If the alt text has been added correctly in Microsoft Office and Adobe InDesign, generating a PDF from these documents should result in accessible images.

To check or fix the alt text in Acrobat, first navigate to All tools then to Prepare for accessibility.
Next, select Set Alternate Text. Acrobat will scan your document for all images.

Set alternate text in Acrobat

Add alternate text - Adobe Acrobat

Add alternate text in the to figures in Adobe Acrobat

Tables

If the inbuilt heading styles have been used correctly in Microsoft Office and Adobe InDesign, generating a PDF from these documents should result in a formatted document with the correct heading hierarchy.

To check or fix the heading hierarchy, first navigate to All tools then to Prepare for accessibility.

First it is recommended to autotag the content. Tagging identifies the individual components as paragraph text, headings, figures/images etc.
To being autotagging, select Autotag document.

Adobe Acrobat autotag

Adobe Acrobat can autotag the contents of a document via the Autotag button.

 

Select Reading order to check that the contents of the PDF have been tagged correctly.

Adobe Acrobat - check the tagging of PDFs by opening the Read Order panel

Adobe Acrobat - Reading Order panel

Adobe Acrobat – incorrectly tagged components can be changed in the Reading Order panel

If any components have been incorrectly tagged, using the Read Order panel to select the section and correct the tag.

Right click on table cells, select Table Cell Properties to define the cell type and the scope.

Cell properties panel in Adobe Acrobat

Define the cell properties in Acrobat. The Table Cell Properties panel in Adobe Acrobat enables you to choose the scope of a table cell (row, column, both, or none), whether it spans rows or columns, and adding associated header cells.

Once you have completed tagging content, close the Reading order panel. It is recommended to also run an Accessibility check which can be found under the Prepare for accessibility menu.

Page added 29/05/2024

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