Acrobat Chapter 2: Converting to a Tagged PDF

How do I convert a document, spreadsheet, or presentation to a tagged PDF?

 Instructions

Section 2.1: Creating Tags Automatically

  1. Import your document, spreadsheet, or presentation into Adobe Acrobat.

  2. Go to the Tools Tab, and find the “Accessibility” Tool, and click ADD.

    Tools Tab in Adobe Acrobat.
  3. Find the “Accessibility” Tool, and click ADD.

    Accessibility Tool in Adobe Acrobat. Below the icon is a button that says add.
  4. With the Accessibility Tool open, click Autotag Document

    Autotag Document Button in Adobe Acrobat.
  5. Remember, the software can make mistakes. So be sure to check every tag to be sure it is labeled correctly. Also be sure it is in the correct spot, and does not disrupt the reading order.

Section 2.2: Tagging in Adobe Acrobat

Tags are used to identify a contents value in a document so it can be read by assistive technology. By tagging an object, we are assigning a hierarchical value to an element. For example: An <H1> tag is used for Headings Style 1 or the main heading for a section or chapter. <H2> is used for Heading Style 2, most commonly used for subsections. In a hierarchy, <H2> must be parented under <H1>. Paragraphs or <p>, but be parented under <H2> or in necessary order. Headings must always be higher than paragraphs.

  1. To create a tag, click the Tag Icon  

                                                                 

  2. Highlight the text you want tagged

  3. Right Click Tags and click Create Tag Root

  4. In our example we will tag Part 1: Introduction as a heading level 2. Click the Menu Button and Click New Tag, under type, select Heading Level 2. You may also include a title or name of what the tag is called. (This may help you keep track of what the tags are for)

  5. A new tag has been created, but nothing is inside yet. With your text still highlighted, right click the <H2> tag and click on “Create Tag from Selection”.

Section 2.3: Beware Untagged PDF Conversions

There are many ways to save as a PDF that produce inaccessible, untagged results. Some ways include,

  • Scanning a document produces a single image with no real, searchable text.

  • Using Print, Save as PDF on a web page or within an authoring software program produces real text. However, it does not produce tags.

  • Various options within Acrobat produce untagged PDFs. Examples include create PDF from Scanner, Screenshot, Web Page, and Clipboard.

Starting with one of these options is okay. But keep in mind it will take a lot more time and effort to then produce an accessible result.

Section 2.4: OCR/Scanned PDFs

PDF documents that are created by scanning a paper document are often completely inaccessible to people using screen readers. This is because they do not contain any searchable text. To make a scanned document an accessible PDF, we need to use an Optical Character Recognition tool or OCR. This will convert the image of text to actual, searchable text that can be read by assistive technologies.

Acrobat Pro DC has a built-in OCR Text Recognition tool.

  1. Go to the Tools Tab.

  2. Click Add Scan & OCR.

  3. Click Recognize Text, then In this file., then click the Recognize Button.

After you do this, do the standard tagging process and adjust the reading and tab order as needed.