This article explains what is Tagged PDF and why it is important for PDF accessibility.
It discusses the benefits of using Tagged PDFs and the requirements for creating them.
Tagged PDFs are a type of PDF that have been designed to be more accessible for people with disabilities.
In this article, we will discuss what Tagged PDFs are, the benefits of using them, and the requirements for creating them.
What is Tagged PDF?
Tagged PDF is a type of PDF document that has been structured and marked up in a way that makes it easier for people with disabilities to access and understand the content.
In a tagged PDF, the text and images are tagged with metadata that describes their role and meaning in the document.
This metadata allows assistive technologies, such as screen readers and braille displays, to read the content aloud or display it in a format that can be easily understood by people with visual or cognitive impairments.
By creating tagged PDFs, content creators can ensure that their documents are accessible to a wider range of people, regardless of their abilities or assistive technology preferences.
Benefits of Tagged PDF for Accessibility
a. Improved Readability
One of the main benefits of using Tagged PDFs is that they provide improved readability for people with visual impairments.
Tagged PDFs use structural markup to define the logical elements of the document, such as headings, paragraphs, and lists.
This allows assistive technologies, such as screen readers, to accurately identify and read aloud the content of the document in a way that is understandable for users with visual impairments.
b. Improved Navigation
Another benefit of Tagged PDFs is improved navigation for users with disabilities.
Tagged PDFs allow users to navigate through the document using assistive technologies, such as screen readers, more easily.
This is because the structural markup used in Tagged PDFs enables the assistive technology to provide a table of contents, headings, and other navigation aids to the user.
c. Improved Compatibility with Assistive Technologies
Tagged PDFs are also more compatible with assistive technologies, such as screen readers, than regular PDFs.
This is because Tagged PDFs contain additional information about the document’s structure and content, which makes it easier for the assistive technology to interpret and present the information to the user.
Requirements for Creating Tagged PDFs
a. Using Proper Heading Tags
To create a Tagged PDF, it is important to use proper heading tags.
Headings should be used to structure the content of the document and should be used in a logical hierarchy, with H1 being the most important heading and H6 being the least important.
This allows assistive technologies to accurately identify and present the content of the document to the user.
b. Providing Alternative Text for Images and Graphics
Images and graphics should also be given alternative text descriptions in Tagged PDFs.
Alternative text should describe the content and function of the image or graphic and should be brief and concise.
This allows users with visual impairments to understand the content of the document even if they cannot see the images or graphics.
c. Proper Use of Lists and Tables
Lists and tables should also be properly marked up in Tagged PDFs.
Lists should be marked up using the <ul> and <ol> tags, and tables should be marked up using the <table>, <th>, and <td> tags.
This allows assistive technologies to accurately identify and present the content of the lists and tables to the user.
Tools for Creating Tagged PDFs
a. Adobe Acrobat Pro
Adobe Acrobat Pro is a popular tool for creating Tagged PDFs.
It includes a built-in accessibility checkerthat can be used to check if the PDF is accessible and provides tools for fixing any issues that are found.
It also has an option to add tags to a PDF automatically, which can save time when creating accessible PDFs.
b. Microsoft Word
Microsoft Word also has the ability to create Tagged PDFs.
When creating a document in Word, it is important to use the built-in heading styles and other formatting tools to create a well-structured document.
When saving the document as a PDF, be sure to select the “Optimize for accessibility” option in the options menu.
In conclusion, Tagged PDFs provide numerous benefits for people with disabilities, including improved readability, navigation, and compatibility with assistive technologies.
To create an accessible Tagged PDF, it is important to use proper heading tags, provide alternative text for images and graphics, and properly mark up lists and tables.
There are several tools available, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro and Microsoft Word, that can be used to create Tagged PDFs.
Q: What is the difference between a regular PDF and a Tagged PDF?
A: A Tagged PDF includes additional information about the document’s structure and content, making it more accessible for people with disabilities.
Q: Why is it important to create accessible PDFs?
A: Creating accessible PDFs ensures that people with disabilities can access and understand the content of the document.
Q: Can I convert a regular PDF to a Tagged PDF?
A: Yes, it is possible to add tags to an existing PDF using Adobe Acrobat Pro or other tools.
Q: What is alternative text?
A: Alternative text is a description of an image or graphic that is used to convey its content and function to users with visual impairments.
Q: Are there any legal requirements for creating accessible PDFs?
A: Yes, there are legal requirements, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), that require organizations to create accessible digital content, including PDFs.