I am not a Mac user so I am not sure that I can help, but this seems like an interesting problem. How exactly are you creating the PDF from Word? What version of Word and Acrobat Pro are you using? Any chance you could share the PDF so I could take a look? How do you or your organization define an accessible PDF - that is, do you consider "passes the Acrobat checker" good enough, or is WCAG 2.0 and/or ISO 14289 compliance your goal?
a 'C' student
Hi 'C' student, thank you for responding!
So (because I'm a Mac user) I have to use both Word for Mac (2011) and Word for PC (latest version) to be able to properly export Word docs to PDF. I basically check the Word doc structure on my Mac, transfer it from Mac to PC, then use PC version to "Export to Adobe PDF" (this feature isn't yet available on Mac version). I then bring the PDF back over to my Mac and clean up the structure in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC (I'm a CC subscriber, so it's a continuous version).
Unfortunately I'm not authorized to share this particular document as I'm not the primary author (I consult for a not-for-profit) and it's not yet published. Just passing the accessibility checker is not enough - we are trying to be WCAG 2.0 compliant. The accessibility checker tool is somewhat helpful, but I've found glitches with it in the past and just had to rely on my knowledge of tagging structures to be sure the documents will run through screen reader programs and transfer to mobile tech okay... I need to invest in JAWS eventually as a second screening tool, just haven't done that yet.
If you have any insight/recommendations it'd be greatly appreciated (but I realize this will be difficult given I can't pass off the document to you to recreate/demonstrate the problem I'm having).
An oft ignored unpleasantness is that WCAG won't get you all the way there for a fully accessible PDF.
For that you'd first use ISO 14289-1 (soon to be "-2" <g>) then drop in to WCAG to address that which is not specifically "PDF" but present in/on the page content.
Remember, ISO 14289-1, PDF/UA is built on ISO 32000-1 (PDF-Reference ISO Standard) with particular focus from Clause 14. Review these to assure you actually have the straight skinny on use/build of the Link element/tag.
As to Acrobat's PDF Checker -- Always a good first check but keep in mind the disclaimer that is present in the tool's active window - essentially the checker does not assure an Accessible PDF.
Follow up with the use of Samuel's "PAC" tool.
As to AT screen reader. Make NVDA your "go to" tool. Open source, Free, & the reason that JAWS has had improvements over the last several years (competition does have an impact - sometimes).
Your recommendations are a HUGE help. I'll check out those resources today and access NVDA. It's funny I hadn't been recommended to use it in the past. I'm not sure my friends with sight issues are aware of it - I'll have to mention it to them!
Thank you again,
To be accessible, each link a PDF document must have three tags, presented in the following order, in the tag tree: a parent <Link> tag, a child <Link - OBJR> tag, and a child document content tag. The <Link> tag alerts a screen reader to the presence of the link. The <Link - OBJR> tag enables screen readers to present the link. The document content tag identifies the content on the page that comprises the link.
When you use the Links tool or the Create Form URLs In Document command on a tagged PDF document, Acrobat tags each URL by adding a document content tag to the tag tree, but it does not also add a <Link> tag nor a <Link - OBJR> tag. A link that does not have a <Link - OBJR> tag is considered an unmarked link and is inaccessible to assistive technology. You must locate all instances of unmarked links in the tag tree, and then add <Link> and <Link - OBJR> tags to them, by following the instructions below:
To find an unmarked link and add <Link> and <Link - OBJR> tags to it:
1. In the Tags tab, choose Options > Highlight Content, and then choose Options > Find.
2. In the Find Element dialog box, select Unmarked Links from the Find drop-down menu.
3. Click Find. The first unmarked link is highlighted on the page.
4. Close the Find dialog box. Use the select tool to select text that is near the link, then choose Options > Find Tag From Selection.
5. In the Tags tab, select the document content tag for the link (the tag that names the URL), and then choose Options > New Tag.
6. In the New Tag dialog box, select Link as the tag type and click OK. A <Link> tag appears below the selected document control tag. Drag the document content tag down to be the child of the <Link> tag.
7. Select the <Link> tag, choose Options > Find, and then select Unmarked Links fromt he Find drop-down menu.
8. Click Find. Acrobat finds the URL that you have been working with.
9. In the Find Element dialog box, click Tag Element. The following two things happen:
- A <Link - OBJR> tag appears as a child to the <Link> tag directly above the document content tag. The tagging for this link is complete.
- Acrobat highlights the next unmarked link in the document.
10. As needed, repeat steps 4 through 9 on the rest of the unmarked links in the document.
I had added hyperlinks to items in a Table of Contents late in my accessibility process ("3 Overview...." in the example below). I then received the Tagged Annotations - Failed error. Following the above steps, I:
1. Clicked the "3 Overview..." document content tag.
2. Created a new <Link> tag.
3. Dragged the "3 Overview..." document content tag under the <Link> tag to be its child.
4. Clicked the <Link> tag (always make sure you do this so it places the <Link - OBJR> tag in the correct spot).
5. Used the steps to find unmarked links.
6. Clicked Tag Element. This added the Link - OBJR tag in the correct spot.
After that, I ran my accessibility check again, and the Tagged Annotations - Failed error was gone! I hope this helps others as much as it helped me!
I'd like to suggest the addition of one thing -- shouldn't Links (and other interactive elements like buttons) in PDFs show focus when accessed using the Keyboard Only? Not everyone uses a mouse, and not everyone who uses another method to navigate uses a screen reader to announce the presence of a Link.
If you set the Highlight Style for a Link element to "None" in Acrobat it will not show focus when it is selected. When a link has focus and you press enter, you activate the link.
If you have a page full of links, even if they are well formatted using color and underline you can't tell which one is selected without the Highlight set to Invert, Outline or Inset.