Dealing with Overwritten Alternate Text Issue during Word to PDF Conversion

Video Overview

The patch for this error is at the bottom of the post. You need to download this update from Adobe:

Understanding the Overwritten Alternate Text Issue in PDF Conversion

Hello there, tech enthusiasts! Today, we are taking a deep dive into a recent and pressing issue regarding PDF conversion that’s been creating quite a buzz. We’re talking about overwritten alternate text that users are experiencing when converting Microsoft Word documents to Adobe PDF. This perplexing problem has cropped up recently, possibly due to an update in Adobe Acrobat.

For those of you who regularly use images in your Word documents and assign them alternative texts (alt text), you might have noticed something odd happening. During the conversion process to PDF, the assigned alternate texts are mysteriously overwritten. When testing this, even when the alt text field is left blank for an image in a Word document, some other alt text seems to be auto-generated during conversion.

Investigating the Overwritten Alternate Text in PDF

The issue doesn’t stop there. Upon placing an alternate text ‘test’ on a second image and leaving the first one blank, both images exhibited the same peculiar behavior after conversion. By navigating to the tags panel in the converted PDF and right-clicking on the figure tag, you can view the properties of each image. This process reveals that some alt text is indeed being forced into these images during conversion.

The same test applies for the second image. Unfortunately, the alt text ‘test’ inputted is overwritten during the conversion process as well. This peculiar issue isn’t limited to a specific set of images, as it indiscriminately affects all images during conversion.

While the exact cause remains a mystery, the first step to preventing this issue is to regularly check the alt text on your images during conversion. Consider this a public service announcement to remain vigilant and ensure your image descriptions are preserved in the transition from Word to PDF.

Adobe Acrobat Update: A Potential Solution

In the hunt for a solution, a deep dive into the Adobe support community led to an intriguing find: an optional update for Adobe Acrobat that could potentially address this issue. But as with any bug fix, the efficacy of the solution isn’t guaranteed for all users. The optional update didn’t solve the problem in every case, but it could potentially help others experiencing similar problems. Despite the setbacks, continued efforts to troubleshoot this issue are essential.


Remember, tech problems are only temporary, and there’s always a solution around the corner. Until then, double-checking the alternate text in your images remains your best course of action. Thanks for joining us today, and remember, always stay curious and resilient in the face of technology’s puzzles.