Create Accessible PDF Forms with Abbyy FineReader PDF 16 and Adobe Acrobat


Welcome to our comprehensive guide on creating accessible PDF forms using Abbyy FineReader PDF 16 and Adobe Acrobat. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the process of adding form fields, ensuring proper tagging, and making your PDFs accessible and compliant with WCAG 2.1 standards. By following these steps, you’ll provide an inclusive user experience for all.

Adding Form Fields with Abbyy FineReader PDF 16

Abbyy FineReader PDF 16 allows you to add various form fields to your PDFs, such as text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down lists, list boxes, and signatures. To begin, select the Form Editor on the right side of the screen, which will bring up a drop-down menu where you can choose the appropriate form field.

For example, when adding a text field, drag and drop it to the desired location within the document. Right-click the text field to access its properties and adjust settings like field name, tooltip, maximum number of symbols, and appearance. You can also set the format for text or date and choose between single-line or multi-line input.

Making Your PDF Forms Accessible with Adobe Acrobat

After creating your PDF form using Abbyy FineReader PDF 16, it’s crucial to ensure its accessibility. Open your document in Adobe Acrobat and use the built-in accessibility tools to make necessary adjustments. Here are the key steps to making your PDF forms accessible:

  1. Set the proper reading language and ensure all images have alternative text (alt text).
  2. Use the Tags panel to adjust the document structure, such as headers and paragraphs.
  3. Ensure proper form field tagging, with appropriate nesting and parent tag types.
  4. Run the Accessibility Checker to identify and fix any issues.
  5. Use the PAC 2021 checker to ensure WCAG 2.1 compliance.

By following these steps, your PDF forms will be accessible and compliant with WCAG 2.1 standards.

Best Practices for Creating Accessible PDF Forms with Abbyy FineReader PDF 16 and Adobe Acrobat

To create accessible PDF forms that cater to all users, consider these best practices:

  1. Use clear and descriptive field names and tooltips to help users understand the purpose of each field.
  2. Set the proper tab order for form fields to enable easy navigation using the Tab key.
  3. Choose accessible fonts and colors, sticking to high-contrast color combinations and avoiding small font sizes.
  4. Test and validate your accessible PDF form using various accessibility checkers and real users.

By incorporating these best practices, you’ll provide an inclusive and compliant user experience for all.


Abbyy FineReader PDF 16 and Adobe Acrobat make it simple to create accessible PDF forms that comply with WCAG 2.1 standards. By following the steps outlined in this guide and implementing the best practices, you can ensure an inclusive user experience that caters to everyone.

Creating Accessible PDF Forms: A Comprehensive Guide

In today’s digital age, ensuring that your documents are accessible to all users is a necessity. One particular area where accessibility can significantly improve user experience is in PDF forms. This blog post will walk you through the process of creating accessible PDF forms, which not only helps make your forms user-friendly but also aligns your documents with universal design principles.

Video overview:

Why Creating Accessible PDF Forms Matters

Accessibility in the world of technology ensures that everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, can access, interact with, and benefit from the digital world. When you create accessible PDF forms, you are ensuring that your documents can be used by a wider range of people, including those with visual, auditory, motor, or cognitive impairments.

Steps for Creating Accessible PDF Forms

The process of creating accessible PDF forms involves several steps, each of which contributes to making your document more accessible and user-friendly. Here are some key steps:

Make the PDF accessible before adding the form fields

Before adding form fields, you should ensure that the base document is accessible. This includes adding headings and other important tags to the document.

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Step 1 – Get the form fields in the document

There are two ways to do this. You can use the Prepare Form option in the tools section. Acrobat will automatically detect form fields.

Or, you can manually add the form fields

In the “Prepare Form” tool, select on the type of field you want to add (e.g., “Add a Text Field”).

Prepare form options

Click and drag on the document where you want to place the field

Sample form field on a page

Step 2 – Tag all annotation (form fields)

Missing form annotations

I like to add a placeholder tag to add all of the annotations in one location.

  1. In the “Tags” panel, right-click where you want to add the placeholder.
  2. Click “New Tag” and create something that will stand out. In this example, I use the word PLACE

Now we need to find the actual annotation. Make sure to select that new tag you made

Options: Find Unmarked Annotations

In the tags menu > select the options button > select Find

Options > Find Unmarked Annotations.” Acrobat will identify and highlight any unmarked annotations.

unmarked annotations

Then, select tag element.

Step 3 – Moving the Form Objects to fix reading order

In the “Tags” panel, you can select and drag tags to rearrange them to the correct location. Move each Form-OBJR into the correct location. If you did it correctly, all the “annotations” will be in the placeholder tag you created.

Moving tags

Creating a Form Parent Tag

  1. In the “Tags” panel, right-click on the tag where you want to add the parent tag.
  2. Select “New Tag.” This creates a new tag under the selected tag.
  3. Select Form
  4. Click “OK.” The new parent tag has been created.

This is what the tags panel should look like

P tag with form container

Step 4 – Add Form Descriptions / Tool Tips

  1. Right-click on the form field in the document.
  2. Select “Properties.”
  3. In the “General” tab of the dialog box that opens, fill in the “Tooltip” field. This text will be read by screen readers to describe the form field.
The tool tip

Step 5 – Final step Test Reading Order with Keyboard

Ensure that the tab order is logical and matches the visual order:

  1. Click somewhere on the first page of your document.
  2. Press the “Tab” key repeatedly to navigate through the form fields and ensure the order makes sense.

Thats it!

Creating Accessible Forms in Microsoft Word: A Step-by-Step Guide


Welcome to the Accessibility Guy channel. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the process of creating accessible forms in Microsoft Word and converting them into PDFs for enhanced accessibility. Although Microsoft Word has limitations when it comes to creating fully accessible forms, this guide will help you lay the foundation for your form before converting it into a more accessible PDF format.

Laying the Foundation for Accessible Forms in Microsoft Word

  1. Begin by opening a new Microsoft Word document. Add your logo at the top of the page, followed by a heading level one to introduce the purpose of your form. For this example, we’ll use the title “Application for the Accessibility Guy Champion Program.”
  2. Structure your form with field names such as “First Name” and “Last Name,” followed by a colon and an underline. Use the tab key to add space for users to enter their information. Be sure to adjust the tabs as needed to align the lines.
  3. Copy and paste the field names to create additional fields, such as “Phone Number” and “Email Address.” Remember to adjust the tabs for proper alignment.
  4. Add a brief description of the form’s purpose at the top of the document, such as “This application will be used for consideration in joining the Accessibility Guy Champion Program.”
  5. Include a space for a signature by typing your name and changing the field to “Signature.” This is often requested on forms that require a user’s consent or agreement.
  6. To incorporate checkboxes or radio buttons for multiple-choice questions, create a bulleted list. This will help maintain the desired structure when you start developing checklist items in Adobe Acrobat. However, keep in mind that Microsoft Word’s accessibility options for form controls are limited, and further adjustments may be necessary when converting to a PDF.
  7. To access additional form controls, open the developer tab by going to File > Options > Customize Ribbon, and under main tabs, select the “Developer” checkbox. This will add the Developer tab to your toolbar, where you can find various form controls. While these controls are not fully accessible to all screen readers, they can be useful for building the structure of your document before converting it to a more accessible format.

Converting Your Microsoft Word Form to a PDF

  1. Save your Microsoft Word document once you have completed creating the form.
  2. To create a PDF file, select the Acrobat tab in Word and then click on “Create PDF.” This will generate a PDF version of your form.
  3. Review the tags in the newly created PDF to identify any accessibility issues. For example, checkboxes may not come through correctly, which will require further adjustments in Adobe Acrobat. Additionally, ensure that the reading order is logical and that all form fields have appropriate labels.


Creating accessible forms in Microsoft Word can be challenging due to its limitations, but with this comprehensive guide, you can lay the foundation for your form before converting it to a more accessible PDF format. In our next blog post, we will explore how to make your PDF form accessible using Adobe Acrobat, including fixing any issues with checkboxes and ensuring that all form fields have proper labels and reading order. Check out the link in the description below and join us next time to improve your form’s accessibility even further.

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Word Posts:

Alternate text in Microsoft Word

Alternative text descriptions of images (Alt text) helps users understand the picture’s significance (or lack of.) This content is typically only accessed with assistive technology. In some cases, if you hover…

Creating an Accessible PowerPoint: Step-by-Step Guide

Video Overview

Welcome to a comprehensive guide on how to create an accessible PowerPoint presentation. In this guide, you’ll learn the best practices for making a PowerPoint accessible and how to use the built-in accessibility checker to ensure your presentations are inclusive for all audiences.

Best Practices for Making a PowerPoint Accessible

Before diving into the process of making your PowerPoint accessible, it’s essential to understand some best practices:

  1. Use a built-in theme.
  2. Add alternate text to all images.
  3. Give every slide a unique title.
  4. Ensure list elements are properly identified within the PowerPoint.
  5. Format links properly.
  6. Use table headers in tables.
  7. Set the reading order.

By following these practices, you can create a PowerPoint presentation that is more accessible and inclusive for all users.

Using the Accessibility Checker in PowerPoint

To begin, launch the accessibility checker in PowerPoint by selecting the File button, then Info, and then Check for Issues. Click on Check Accessibility, which will bring up a list of errors that need to be fixed within the document.

Go through each error, starting with missing alternate text for images. Add appropriate alt text to each image, describing what the image represents. For example, “A screenshot from Adobe Acrobat with a parent figure tag on display.”

Next, ensure that hyperlinks are properly formatted. While you may want to leave the full URL for presentational purposes, it’s better for accessibility to use descriptive link text instead.

As you go through your slides, make sure each slide has a unique title, and list elements are properly identified. Additionally, check that any tables are using table headers for added accessibility.

In some cases, you may have images that can be marked as decorative if they do not add significant information to the presentation. Mark these images as decorative, and the accessibility checker will no longer flag them as errors.

Once you’ve addressed all errors, the accessibility checker may provide warnings about the reading order of the slides. To fix this, open the reading order pane and rearrange the content so that it is read in the correct order. For example, ensure the slide number is read last.

With all errors and warnings resolved, your accessible PowerPoint is ready to go! Remember, while accessibility checkers are not always perfect, PowerPoint’s checker is more fine-tuned, and following its guidance will help you create more inclusive presentations.

Remember, creating accessible PowerPoint presentations not only benefits those with disabilities but also ensures your content is available to a broader audience, making your presentations more effective and inclusive.

Start from scratch

Sometimes its easier to simply copy and paste the content from an inaccessible PowerPoint into a new accessible template:

Fixing PowerPoint Footer Display Issues

Welcome to our tutorial on displaying and fixing slide footers, dates, and slide numbers in PowerPoint presentations. Whether you’re using templates or customized presentations, it’s essential to ensure your content…

How to hide a slide title

Since every slide must have a title it may interfere with the layout of your slide so instead of deleting the title, there is an option to hide the title.…

Table Accessibility in PowerPoint

Table accessibility is an important aspect of creating accessible PowerPoint files. Be sure to follow all basic table accessibility features. Unsure of what those are? Keep reading. Accessible tables should…

Lists in PowerPoint Accessibility

Lists and PowerPoint accessibility are essential for Section 508 compliance. This post will cover the difference between unordered and ordered lists, and how to apply them in PowerPoint.

Manually Tagging Lists within PDFs for Accessibility

Introduction: Why Manually Tagging Lists in PDFs Matters for Accessibility

Ensuring the accessibility of documents is essential for creating inclusive digital experiences. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of manually tagging lists in PDFs using Adobe Acrobat Pro, creating a well-structured and accessible document.

Step 1: Prepare the PDF and Create a Blank List Tag

Open your PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Right-click in the Tags panel, select “New Tag,” and create a blank List tag (capital “L”).

If you would rather an expert make your docs accessible for you instead – check this out.

Step 2: Create List Item Tags and Nest Them

Manually create list item (LI) tags and nest them within the List tag. To do this, right-click the List tag, select “New Tag,” and type “LI” (capital “L” and “I”).

Step 3: Add Label and L Body Tags

For each LI tag, create Label (LBL) and L Body tags. Right-click each LI tag, select “New Tag,” and type “Lbl” for Label and “LBody” for LBody tags. Drag and drop these tags into their appropriate locations within the LI tags.

Step 4: Create Tags from Selections for List Items and Nested Lists

Select the appropriate tag in the Tags panel, highlight the corresponding content in the document, and use the “Create Tag from Selection” option from the Options menu in the Tags pane. Repeat this process for each list item and nested list.

Step 5: Create a Nested List Structure

For nested lists, create a new List tag structure within the L Body tag of the parent list item. Create new LI tags for each nested list item, then add Label and L Body tags as before.

Step 6: Review the Tag Structure and Run the Accessibility Checker

Review the tag structure to ensure all list items and nested lists are properly tagged. Run the Accessibility Checker to identify any missing content or issues.

Step 7: Fix Missing Content and Rerun the Accessibility Checker

If the Accessibility Checker identifies missing content, use the Reading Order tool or the Tags panel to correct the issue. Rerun the Accessibility Checker to confirm that the document is now accessible.

Conclusion: Enhancing Accessibility through Manually Tagging Lists in PDFs

Manually tagging lists in PDFs using Adobe Acrobat Pro ensures your documents are well-structured and accessible for all users. By following these steps, you can create an inclusive digital experience that adheres to accessibility standards. Stay tuned to the Accessibility Guy channel for more tips and tricks on enhancing document accessibility, and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Making Your Bilingual Microsoft Word Table Accessible in PDF


Welcome to the Accessibility Guy channel! In today’s post, we will be discussing how to convert a bilingual table created in Microsoft Word, which uses both English and Spanish, into a PDF while ensuring that it remains accessible. If you find this helpful, don’t forget to like and subscribe for more content on accessibility.

Video Overview

Step 1: Saving the Word File and Creating a PDF

To begin, save your Word file, which should have an accessible table with English, Spanish, and some PNG checkboxes. Next, under the Acrobat tab, select “Create PDF” and save the file. Since the table was already accessible in Microsoft Word, it should mostly transfer over to the PDF as accessible.

Step 2: Checking the Tags Panel

After converting the table to a PDF, open the tags panel on the far left side of the page to check if the table has been tagged properly. If you see a section tag and a blank p tag, you will need to make some adjustments to ensure the document is accessible.

Step 3: Making the Document Accessible

First, change the section tag to a document tag by right-clicking the section tag, selecting “Properties,” typing in the word “document,” and clicking “Close.” This will help the PDF pass PDF UA and WCAG accessibility standards. Next, change the blank p tag to an artifact by right-clicking the empty container and selecting “Change Tag to Artifact.” For the artifact type, choose “Page” and click “OK.” You can then delete the p tag.

Step 4: Cleaning Up the Table Structure

Go through the table cells to ensure proper formatting, and use the table editor to adjust table headers if necessary. Remove any blank p tags by right-clicking and changing the tag to an artifact. This process will help clean up the table structure, making it more accessible.

Step 5: Running the Accessibility Checker

Once the table structure is in place, run the accessibility checker to identify any issues that may still need to be addressed. In the case of the example provided, the nested alternate text failed. To resolve this, remove the alt text from the path tag, which should resolve the issue.

Step 6: Fixing Missing Alt Text

You can fix missing alt text by using the accessibility checker panel. Right-click on the issue and select “Fix” to add the alt text. Ensure that your alt text is descriptive and helpful for users.

Step 7: Verifying the Spanish Text

Make sure that the Spanish text has been properly recognized. To do this, select the Spanish text and use the “Find Tag from Selection” option. Right-click the p tag and ensure the language setting is correct.

Step 8: Final Checks

Save your file and run the accessibility checker one last time to ensure that everything is in order. If any issues remain, address them accordingly. In the example provided, the title was missing and was fixed by right-clicking and selecting “Fix.”


In this tutorial, we went through the process of converting a bilingual table in Microsoft Word into a PDF while ensuring its accessibility. Although there may be some challenges and bugs along the way, the final result should be a fully accessible PDF document that meets PDF UA and WCAG standards. Thank you for joining us on this journey, and don’t forget to like and subscribe for more accessibility content!

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Notetaking with Otter AI

This post will explore features of notetaking with Otter AI. The video below is a little over 7 minutes long.

Some takeaways Notetaking with Otter AI

Welcome to the Accessibility Guy channel. In this video, we will be discussing how Otter AI can be used for note-taking. Our focus will be on the basic features that come with the free version of Otter AI, although we should note that we are using a paid account.

To get started, we will first need to access the Otter AI website. We can do this by simply typing in into our web browser. Once we have reached the Otter AI homepage, we can click on the record button to begin the transcription process.

Need some other content on Otter.AI? Check out these posts

It is important to note that Otter AI can also be used in the background to record everything that is said in a meeting or class. This is particularly useful for individuals who want to have a record of important information that was discussed during a session.

One of the standout features of Otter AI is the ability to share recordings with other individuals. This can be done by hitting the share button and typing in the email address of the individual you would like to share the recording with. It is a great way to collaborate with colleagues and classmates.

Let’s take a moment to talk about how Otter AI can be used for video recordings. We can easily take notes from a YouTube video by launching the video and recording our notes using Otter AI. This is an effective way to capture important information from lectures and webinars.

It is worth noting that while Otter AI is an excellent tool for note-taking, it is important to ensure that the tool is used properly. This means being mindful of background noise and ensuring that the speaker’s voice is clear and audible.

In conclusion, Otter AI is a fantastic tool for individuals who want to take notes effectively and efficiently. The free version of the tool is a great starting point, although users can always upgrade to a paid version to access additional features.

How to set the reading order of a PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

Setting the reading order can be tricky in a PDF. There are several items to consider including the content panel, the z order panel, and tags panel.

Video Overview of how to set the reading order of a PDF

Match the content panel with the reading order panel

If you’re just starting, it’s best to start adjusting the content panel first. Then, you’ll move on to the read order panel and finish with the tags panel. Most assistive technology will follow the tags panel.

  1. Open up the content view on the far left side (Important: Do not remove anything from the content panel. This could remove it from the document’s structure and cause issues with the document itself.).
  2. Use the down arrow to follow the structure of the content to ensure everything is in the correct reading order.
  3. If there’s anything out of place, move it to the correct spot in the content panel.
  4. Once you’ve finished reordering things in the content panel, check the read order panel to see if the content was updated correctly.
  5. Then, check the tags panel to see if the copy was updated.

Match the reading order panel with the tags panel

Once you’ve ensured everything is in the correct order in the content panel, you’ll want to adjust the reading order panel (z order panel). There are a couple of helpful tools in the reading order panel. Once you’ve selected the reading order panel, here’s how you’ll parse through it:

  1. Select the accessibility button.
  2. From there, select the reading order button.
  3. Choose “Show page content groups” followed by the “Page content order” button in the Reading Order popup. By doing this, you’ll see display boxes of content with numbers on the page for easy viewing of the reading order.

Final Step

Walk the tags panel to ensure everything is in the correct order.

If your document is missing tags – check out the other posts on this page.

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What are PDF tags?

Tags are the basis for accessibility within a PDF. Without proper tags there is no accessibility. Tag elements provide semantic information for screen readers, control the reading order, and other important functions. An important first step is to determine if your PDF has tags. Review this post to find out if your document has tags.

Why do PDF tags matter?

Assistive technology will read tags and use them as a method for navigating larger documents. A tagged PDF is essential for those with visual disabilities and anyone who is using assistive technology like JAWS or NVDA.

PDF tags make it possible to identify content like headings, lists, links, tables, forms, and other important features. Not all programs can export a tagged PDF – so make sure you are using the right tools!

Sample screenshot of tags panel

Sample screenshot of the tags panel

Video overview of PDF Tags

Tag Relationships

Tags come in a pair and can sometimes be referred to as a Parent-Child relationships. In the example below the Figure tag is the parent tag and image container is the Child tag.

Every parent tag will have a child tag. This is useful for moving tags around in the tags panel.

The PDF Tags breakdown

If a tag is not properly categorized it will fail accessibility checks and be confusing to its users. Adding tags does not change the visual appearance of the document; it provides invisible layer of formatting within the document that works with screen readers. PDF tags also allows the content to reflow seamlessly on devices with smaller screens, like smartphones and tablets. Here is a brief explanation of what each tag represents:


The P tag is the most basic and universal tag. This tag is used as body text.

<H1> <H2> <H3> <H4> <H5> <H6>

These are heading tags. Most documents will have a single H1 tag, but larger documents could contain more. Modern assistive technology can recognize up to six heaving levels. Always use headings in order. Think of them like an outline.

  1. The Parent Tag <H1>
  2. The child tag (container)
  3. The content the tag is referencing (content on page)
The Parent Tag <H1>
The child tag (container)
The content the tag is referencing (content on page)

pdf tags

<L> <LI> <Lbl> <LBody>

List elements contain a specific structure. These tags represent the structure of accessible lists. Some accessibility guidelines require the use of Lbl and other guidelines do not.

  1. List Parent Tag <L>
  2. List Item Child Tag <LI>
  3. Label <Lbl>
  4. List Body child Tag <LBody>
  5. Contents of First list item
  6. List item content on page
List Parent Tag <L>
List Item Child Tag <LI>
Label <Lbl>
List Body child Tag <LBody>
Contents of First list item
List item content on page

pdf tags


The figure tag represents any and all images. At this time the figure tag is used for all graphics within a PDF.

  1. <Figure> is a parent tag
  2. The Image is a child tag (container)
  3. The image as content on page
<Figure> is a parent tag

The Image is a child tag (container)

The image as content on page

<Table> <TR> <TH> <TD>

Reading plain text is an easy task for assistive technologies. A table of data presents a complex more task. Proper PDF tag structure makes this possible by identifying essential information including the number of rows and columns as well as column (or row) headers, and which heading each data entry corresponds to. The more complex a table is, the more significant the challenge to tag it correctly.

  1. Table Parent Tag <Table>
  2. Table Row Child tag <TR>
  3. Table Header Cell <TH>
  4. Table Data Cell <TD>
  5. Table on Page
Table Parent Tag <Table>
Table Row Child tag <TR>
Table Header Cell <TH>
Table Data Cell <TD>
Table on Page

<Link>, Link – OBJR

Every link tag needs a Link-OBJR tag.

  1. Parent tag <P>
  2. Link Tag <Link>
  3. Link Reference Object
  4. The link Text on screen
  5. Content on page
Parent tag <P>
Link Tag <Link>
Link Reference Object 
The link Text on screen
Content on page

<Reference> & <Note>

Reference and Note tags are up for interpretation but are commonly used within PDFs to “visually” break content apart.

Reading Order

An accessible PDF provides the instructions to the assistive technologies such as screen readers to read the content properly and in the correct order. The tag order within the tag tree will determine the reading order of the document. For documents without this logical structure, the best case would be that assistive technologies would guess at the correct order that the content should be presented in. In worst cases, the content would be completely unable to be read. The outcome is that the content becomes useless to the user.

How do I apply tags to a document?

There are multiple methods to apply tags to a document. The most common methods are:

Advanced Tag Breakdown

The following is a detailed breakdown of available tag structure within a pdf. It has been adapted from

Grouping elements

PDF tagSemantic meaningPossible and semantically meaningful parent elementsPossible and semantically meaningful child elements
DocumentRepresents a complete documentGrouping elements, Block-level structure elements
PartDivision of a larger document into smaller, associated partsDocumentArtSectDivBlockQuoteCaptionTOCIndex
ArtParts of content which together are conclusive, i.e. an article or part of a documentDocumentPartSectDivBlockQuoteSectDivBlockQuoteCaptionTOCIndex
SectGrouped related content parts, for example several paragraphs, which can be combined into a groupDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuoteArtSectDivBlockQuoteCaptionTOCIndex
DivGeneric group element without semantic meaningDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuoteArtSectDivBlockQuoteCaptionTOCIndex
BlockQuoteOne or more paragraphs that originate from another author, in other words, that have been quotedDocumentPartArtSectDivArtSectDivCaption
CaptionA caption to describe for example a picture or a tableDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuoteTableLSectDivBlockQuote
TOCContainer for table of contents entries. Can be used either as a flat hierarchy (all contained TOCI on one level) or as a complex hierarchy (TOC within a TOCI as a subgroup). Can be contained multiple times in a document, since it can also be used for image or table directories.DocumentPartArtSectDivTOCI
TOCIEntry within a table of contents (TOC).TOCTOCPLblReference
IndexContainer for a subject indexDocumentPartArtSectDivL

Block-level structure elements

Paragraph elements

PDF tagSemantic meaningPossible and semantically meaningful parent elementsPossible and semantically meaningful child elements
POrdinary paragraphDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuoteCaptionTOCIInline-level structure elements
H1H2H3H4H5H6Hierarchical headings on levels 1 to 6DocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuoteInline-level structure elements

List elements

PDF tagSemantic meaningPossible and semantically meaningful parent elementsPossible and semantically meaningful child elements
LList container; groups together all list elements that belong togetherDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuoteIndexLICaption
LIContainer of a list entry; can contain an L to create multi-level listsLLblLBodyL
LblComes from the term “label” and represents the numbering or bullet character within a list. It’s not actually a block-level structure element and can also be used in other elements such as TOCI or Caption.LI
LBodyContains the contents of a list entryLIInline-level structure elements

Table elements

PDF tagSemantic meaningPossible and semantically meaningful parent elementsPossible and semantically meaningful child elements
TableTable container; combines all related table elementsDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuoteTRCaptionTHeadTBodyTFoot
TRGroups a table rowTableTHeadTBodyTFootTHTD
THTable heading cell; describes the meaning either at horizontal (line) or vertical (column) levelTRInline-level structure elements
TDOrdinary table data cellsTRInline-level structure elements
THeadA group of table rows (TR) to mark them as table header; can be used optionallyTableTR
TBodyA group of table rows (TR) to mark them as table content; can be used optionallyTableTR
TFootA group of table rows (TR) to mark them as table footer; can be used optionallyTableTR

Inline-level structure elements

PDF tagSemantic meaningPossible and semantically meaningful parent elementsPossible and semantically meaningful child elements
SpanGeneric container without semantic meaning; is used, among other things, for visual markups, language changes or for adding ActualText (e.g. for ignoring hyphens)PH1H6LBodyTDQuoteNote
QuoteUsed like BlockQuote for quoted content; however, Quote is used at line levelPH1H6LBodyTDSpan
NoteFootnote or endnote text (not the reference character in the body text). The footer/end-note character within Note and Reference will be placed in a Lbl.PH1H6LBodyTDLblPSpan
ReferenceRefers to another place in the document, e.g. footnote or directory entryPH1H6LBodyTDLbl
CodeMarking of programming languagePH1H6LBodyTD
LinkLink to a web page or to a place within the documentPH1H6LBodyTD
AnnotAnnotations that are not a link or a widget (form field), like comments and videos.PH1H6LBodyTD

Illustration graphic elements

PDF tagSemantic meaningPossible and semantically meaningful parent elementsPossible and semantically meaningful child elements
FigurePhoto or graphicDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuotePLBodyTD
FormulaMathematical formulaDocumentPartArtSectDivBlockQuotePH1H6LBodyTD
FormForm elementDocumentPartArtSectDivPTD

How to add tags to a PDF

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How to use the accessibility checker in Microsoft Word

The accessibility checker is a great tool to use AFTER you have already implemented accessibility principles into your MS Word document. For a refresh on that – review the Microsoft Word Accessibility page.

The accessibility checker in Microsoft Word is a great tool for identifying color contrast errors, finding images that do not have alternate text, and applying table headers.

Do not rely on the accessibility checker for compliance. Use it as a tool to verify your work.

The Accessibility Guy

Video overview of how to use the accessibility checker in Microsoft Word

Text Directions of using the accessibility checker in Microsoft Word

  1. Select the Review tab
  2. Select Check accessibility
  3. Review the errors and fix
Select Review

Select Check accessibility

Review the errors and fix

Common pitfalls of the accessibility checker in Microsoft Word

The accessibility checker cannot determine the following elements on its own:

  • Document that has headings applied
  • Unformatted links
  • Use of footnotes
  • Improper use of alternate text

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