ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Correct Typos in Tagged Text

Four Adobe PDF Icons in a row

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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WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

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ACCESSIBLE PDFs: How to Set the Document Root

Human hands holding a young green plant

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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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 312 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 59 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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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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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY TESTING & REMEDIATION SERVICES: Mary Gillen is an experienced Website Accessibility Compliance Auditor and Remediator. She can test your website to determine if it meets accessibility standards:

WCAG 2.1: 118 checkpoints covering A, AA and AAA W3 accessibility guidelines
Section 508: 15 US federal guidelines covered by 55 accessibility checkpoints

Find out more about Mary Gillen’s Accessibility Testing & Remediation Services: Websites, PDFs, Office Docs & Videos

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