Understanding accessible PDFs.
What is an accessible pdf, and why does it matter?
An accessible PDF is a document that is universally easy to use and meets established accessibility standards. It enables most people to view, read, or interact with your document. Since your audience may include people whose vision, hearing, mobility, or cognition is impaired, it’s important that your document be easy to use with assistive technology like:
- Screen readers
- Text-to-speech programs
- Braille displays
- And more
The more accessible your PDF is, for example, the easier it is to hear on a mobile device. Or view with a screen magnifier. Or fill out without a keyboard. Actually, this increased ease of use benefits everyone in your audience, regardless of their various abilities. So let’s dive in further: what is PDF accessibility, and how can you apply it in your next document?
How to make your PDFs accessible.
Start by reviewing PDF accessibility standards like those outlined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (https://www.w3.org/WAI/standards-guidelines/wcag/). These guidelines include minimum requirements and steps to ensure your documents are universally accessible. Although this isn’t a complete list, here are some things most accessible PDFs include:
- Document structure tags
- Navigational aids (links, headings, and so on)
- Alternative text descriptions
- Appropriate title tags
- Document language indication
- And other accessible features
Your goal is to make your PDF accessible to as many people as possible. Pause for a moment to consider your audience. Then take all necessary steps to ensure they can find your document, access it, and, if appropriate, interact with it. Use tools like the Accessibility Setup Assistant in Adobe Acrobat to help you get started.