Tagging References, Footnotes, and Endnotes

How do I create accessible references, footnotes, and endnotes in Adobe Acrobat?

 Instructions

Overview: Footnotes and endnotes have two parts, the note reference mark, and the note text. They are used for explaining, commenting, or providing references for text in a document. Footnotes are often used for detailed comments and endnotes for citation of sources.

Footnotes go to the bottom of the relevant page, endnotes appear on the last page of the document. Sometimes the footnote is very short. In these cases, you may want to tag it to be sure it is read without interrupting the flow.

To tag notes in Acrobat, you’ll use these tags:

  1. <Reference>

  2. <Note>

The callout is tagged as a <Reference> (inside the parent tag that contains the callout, such as a paragraph). Then, use the Actual Text attribute on the Reference tag to label it for screen reader users (more detail in the below example). The note itself is tagged with the <Note> tag.

If you want to create a hyperlink to the note so a user can jump to it, you’ll also use these link tags to create a link inside the Reference tag:

  1. <Link>

  2. <Link - OBJR>

  1. Open the Reading Order Tool.

    Reading Order Tool in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Draw a box around the small superscript callout number.

  3. Click the Reference button.

    Reading Order Tool with many buttons. The superscript is highlighted in pink.
  4. Open the Options Menu and click Find.

    Options Menu in Adobe Acrobat.
  5. From the drop-down menu, select Unmarked Links, then check Search Document. Click Find.

  6. The first superscript callout will be highlighted in pink. Click Tag Element. The Link - OBJR Annotation will be created.

  7. Click the Reference Tag, open the Options Menu and select New Tag.

  8. Go to the Options Menu and click New Tag. Select Link from the drop-down menu and click OK.

  9. Now drag and drop the tags in the Tags Pane to arrange them like this:

    1. Tags on top

    2. <Documents> tag is the child of the tag root.

    3. <Reference> tag is the child of the document tag.

    4. <Link> tag is the child of the reference tag.

    5. Link - OBJR is the child of the link tab. The endnote is in the Link - OBJR.

  10. Click the Selection Tool. Highlight the sentence, not the footnote number.

  11. Open the Options Menu, Select Create Tag from Selection.

  12. Select Paragraph from the drop-down menu and click OK. You may have some empty containers and need to rearrange the hierarchy.

  13. Delete any empty containers and arrange everything else like this:

    1. Tags on top

    2. <Documents> tag is the child of the tag root.

    3. <Paragraph> tag is the child of the document tag.

    4. Within the Paragraph tag, your text is displayed.

    5. <Reference> tag is the child of the paragraph tag.

    6. <Link> tag is the child of the reference tag.

    7. Link - OBJR is the child of the link tab. The endnote is in the Link - OBJR.

  14. Now open the Reading Order Tool. Scroll down to the footnote and draw a box around it. Include all of the text and the superscript number.

  15. Click the Note Button in the Reading Order Tool.

  16. Drag and drop the Note Tag if needed to the right place in the tag tree. (Make it a child of the document tag, but place it under every tag under the Paragraph Tag.)