ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Remediate a PDF Document with NVDA for Accessibility

Five PDF icons in a row

Watch as Certified Accessibility Professional Dax Castro remediates a PDF using NDVA (screen reader) to test and ensure a good user experience. You can also learn NVDA shortcuts while creating an accessible PDF document.

Video Dax Castro Remediate PDF with NVDA

Learn more about Dax at section5oh8.com

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Fix Nested Alternate Text Failed Error

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Screen readers don’t read alternate text for nested elements.

If alternate text does exist in your PDF’s nested elements, you will see the Nested alternate text -failed error when using the Accessibility Checker in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

Adobe Acrobat Nested alternate text - Failed error

Here’s how to fix the problem:

1) In Adobe Acrobat Pro DC Accessibility Checker sidebar, right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) on the error, then select Show in Tags panel.

Adobe Acrobat Show in Tags Panel

2) In the Tags panel, Right-click (Windows) or Ctrl-click (Mac OS) on the  nested element and choose Properties from the context menu.

3) Remove the Alternate Text from the Object Properties dialog box, and then click the Close button.

Remove alternate text

4) Save the PDF file.

5) Test the PDF again in using the Adobe Acrobat DC Pro Accessibility Checker.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Correct “F” or “UF” Key Missing in File Specification Error

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Using InDesign to export a PDF file?

Sometimes you will find the error “‘F’ or ‘UF’ key missing in file specification” when checking the accessibility of the PDF in PAC 3.

PAC 3 Error F or UF

Here’s how to fix it, using Adobe Acrobat Pro:

1) Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

2) Select More Tools > Print Production >Preflight.

3) Select the Acrobat Pro DC 2015 Profiles from the drop-down within the Preflight dialog box.

How to correct F or UF key using Preflight Tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro

4) Click the blue wrench icon.

5) Under the Document category, select the Insert missing F and UF entries for embedded files option.

6) Press the Fix button in the bottom right corner of the dialog.

7) Save the PDF file.

8) Test the PDF again in PAC 3.

PAC 3 F or UF Key Error Corrected

9) The original error should now “pass” as accessible.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Correct Typos in Tagged Text

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What happens when your tagged text doesn’t match visual text?

Even though the text in your PDF looks correct, there may be typos or extra spacing behind the scenes that causes screen readers to announce the content incorrectly.

Tagged text must be free from line breaks and split words. The Adobe Accessibility Checker does not alert you to these issues.

Here’s how you can determine the back-end content issues and fix them, using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.


How to Figure Out What is Wrong with the Content

1) Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.

2) Select File > Save as > Text (Plain).

3) Save the file to your computer.

4) Open the text file in Microsoft Word.

5) Use the grammar and spell check tools to find typos or spacing issues.


How to Fix These Problems in the PDF File

1) With the PDF open in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, select the Tags Tree

Tags Tree Icon in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

2) Locate the tag containing the typo or spacing issue.

3) Right click and select Copy Contents to Clipboard

Copy Contents to Clipboard Command in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

4) Right click the tag again and select Properties

Properties option in Adobe Acrobat Pro

5) Paste the copied content into the “Actual Text” field and make the corrections.

Actual Text field in Object Properties of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

6) Save the PDF file.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Set the Document Root

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Every PDF document needs a “root.”

I get this question all the time from fellow PDF remediators:

“I am getting this error: ‘”Part” structure element used as root element.’ How can I fix it?”

You need to set the root of the PDF as “Document.”

HERE’S THE FIX

1) In the Acrobat Pro DC Tags pane, create a new Document tag and position it at the root under the Tags tree.

Accessibility Tag Pane Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

2) Select the rest of the tag structure and drag it inside (under) the root Document tag.

3) Save the file.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: When Bookmarks Are Required

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If you have a PDF document that has 21 or more pages, you need to include bookmarks that parallel the accessible document structure. This allows folks who use assistive technology an easier way to navigate a PDF document.

NOTE: Bookmarks are best added after the document structure tags are finalized.

How to add bookmarks based on a document’s structure via Adobe Acrobat Pro DC:

1. Select Bookmarks icon on the Accessibility Checker panel
2. Select the Options icon
3. Select New Bookmarks from Structure

Adobe Acrobat Bookmark Menu
4. In the Structure Elements dialog box, select the element(s) that you want to use as bookmarks.

5. Click OK.

[SOURCE]

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Embed Missing Fonts

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I have written about the importance of adding a PDF/UA identifier to your PDF files to help with accessibility.

The PDF/UA flag in the document informs screen readers and AT software that the PDF’s structure elements are logically ordered and semantically correct. This enables the AT apps on different devices (desktop, mobile, tablets) to process correctly-tagged PDF content consistently for a multitude of users.

Let’s talk about why you should embed missing fonts

Embedding missing fonts ensures reliable presentation of the PDF document’s text because the AT viewer is not forced to substitute fonts that may not match the usage specified in the document.

Fonts that are embedded can also help speed up the editing process. Let’s say you discover a typo and need to fix it via Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. You should be able to fix the text in the document using the original font.

How to embed missing fonts

1. Open the PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
2. Go to Print Production > Preflight.
3. Make sure the Adobe Acrobat Pro DC 2015 Profiles is selected.
4. Select PDF fixups.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC screen shot how to embed fonts
5. Select Embed missing fonts.
6. Press the Analyze & Fix button.
7. Save and replace the file.
8. Test in PAC 3.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Prevent Security Settings from Interfering with Screen Readers

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When creating a PDF file using Adobe Acrobat DC Pro, a document author can specify that no part of an accessible PDF is to be copied, printed, extracted, commented on, or edited.

Problem is this security setting can interfere with a screen reader’s ability to read the document, because screen readers must be able to copy or extract the document’s text to convert it to speech.

How to fix accessibility permissions manually

1. Open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat DC Pro
2. Choose File > Properties > Security.
3. Choose No Security from the Security Method drop-down list.
4. Click OK and close the Document Properties dialog box.

Is your screen reader a Trusted Agent?

From Adobe: “If your assistive technology product is registered with Adobe as a Trusted Agent, you can read PDFs that might be inaccessible to another assistive technology product. Acrobat recognizes when a screen reader or other product is a Trusted Agent and overrides security settings that would typically limit access to the content for accessibility purposes. However, the security settings remain in effect for all other purposes, such as to prevent printing, copying, extracting, commenting, or editing text.”

[SOURCE]

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Add a PDF/UA Identifier

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Is your PDF document really technically accessible? Have you checked to see if the PDF/UA identifier has been set? This enables reader applications and assistive technologies to fully process PDF/UA conforming files to maximize accessibility.

By adding the PDF/UA identifier, you are claiming that the PDF document conforms to the structure elements as stated in ISO 14289, the informal name for the International Standard for accessible PDF technology.

NOTE: If PDFs were created in Microsoft Word 2013 for Windows or in any version of Adobe InDesign, you definitely need to add the PDF/UA identifier.

How can you tell if the PDF/UA identifier has been set in a PDF?

Download PAC 3, one of the most comprehensive free testing tools that checks PDF documents for compatibility with the PDF/UA standard. Distributed by the Swiss organization Access for all and only available for Windows, PAC 3 evaluates the failure conditions that should be tested by other software apps. It also includes a screen reader preview tool to check the failure conditions which need to be tested manually.

How to test a PDF for its PDF/UA identifier with PAC 3

1. Download and launch PAC 3.
2. Click the Upload button to select the PDF you want to test.

PAC 3 Upload Button

3. In the Summary Report, if you see a red X to the left of Metadata, this means the PDF/UA identifier is missing.

PAC 3 Metadata Line in Summary Report
4. Click the Results in Detail button

PAC 3 Results in Detail Button

5. On the Report screen, click the arrow to the left of Metadata and Settings, then the arrow to the left of Metadata, then the arrow to the left of PDF/UA Identifier.

PAC 3 Report Detail PDF UA Identifier Missing

If you see a red X to the left of the option PDF/UA identifier missing, this means the PDF/UA identifier needs to be added to the document. You can fix this using Adobe Acrobat DC.

How to add the PDF/UA identifier using Adobe Acrobat DC

1. Open the PDF document in Adobe Acrobat DC.
2. Select More Tools > Print Production > Preflight
3. In the Preflight dialog, be sure PDF Standards is selected from the dropdown.
4. Activate the wrench icon above the list of Preflight checks. This should open the Document info and Metadata settings.

Adobe Acrobat Pro Preflight Wrench icon
5. Select the Set PDF/UA-1 entry option, then click the Fix button.

Adobe Acrobat Preflight Set PDF-UA-1
6. In the next dialog box, you will need to re-save your file with a different name.

Save the PDF file as a different name to set the PDF/UA identifier

To check to see if the PDF has been updated with the PDF/UA identifier, return to the PAC 3 app.

1. Go back to the PAC 3 app.
2. Click the Upload button to select the revised PDF you want to test.
3. In the Summary Report, if you see a friendly green check mark to the left of Metadata, this mean the PDF/UA identifier is now part of the PDF document.

PAC 3 Summary Report Successful Update of PDF/UA identifier

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

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PDFs: The Importance of Figure and Image ALT Tags

To be accessible to screen readers, figures and images in PDF documents should not have blank ALT text, except for decorative images which should be marked as artifacts.

Each image should have an ALT attribute describing the picture, which screen readers can read aloud.

EXAMPLE:

Still life with colorful tulips

ALT=”Still life photo of colorful tulips in a glass vase”

ADDITIONAL NOTE: When an image contains words that are important to understanding the content, the text alternative should include those words. This will allow the alternative to accurately represent the image.

Read more about PDF Techniques for WCAG: Text Alternatives.

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PDF Accessibility Remediation How to Fix 40 Common Errors

Whether you have limited experience with the PDF remediation process, are expanding your knowledge on how to remediate PDFs, or simply need a resource that can help remind you how to fix a frustrating error, the info provided in this e-book can help.

Download now.

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