5 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2016 10:19 AM by Dave__M

    Accessibility-Acrobat Pro DC


      Using Acrobat Pro DC on Windows.

      I have been charged with teaching people how to make PDFs accessible. Most of what I need is accomplished by Action Wizard> Make accessible. But there is one aspect that I have NOT been able to find detailed help information, after searching within Adobe and also using Google. In the accessibility checker, there is shown Logical Reading Order-Needs manual check. But NOWHERE can I find HOW to manually check it! The "Explain" option brings up "Make sure that the reading order displayed in the Tags panel coincides with the logical reading order of the document" and again, no "How To" can be found.

      I created my original document in Microsoft Word, and passed the Word acccessibility checker, then saved as a PDF.


      Thanks in advance for any help.

        • 1. Re: Accessibility-Acrobat Pro DC
          a_C_student Level 3

          Yes, checking the reading order is essential. The easiest way, in my experience, is to use a free screen reader emulator. The ones I am aware of are PDFgoHTML from Callas Software, VIP Reader from the Swiss Foundation of and for the Blind, and ones built into the PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC) versions 1.3 and 2.0 from Access for All. Google will, of course, find these for you easily. Other choices include using an actual screen reader such as NVDA or JAWS, or scrolling patiently and carefully through the Tags pane.


          Being entrusted with teaching others about PDF accessibility is a wonderful, immense responsibility. It is great to see you are taking it seriously. Please consider encouraging your students to use full conformance with ISO 14289 (PDF/UA) and WCAG 2.0 as the only acceptable definition of an "accessible" PDF.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Accessibility-Acrobat Pro DC
            a11ycarolyn Level 1

            Thanks, a_C_student. As I was poking around in Acrobat yesterday, I found an "Order" panel, then did some searching on the Adobe website. From what I found, this appeared to be a way to put the elements in their proper reading order. I'll attach a screenshot- is this something that could be used before using a screen reader emulator?

            Thanks again.

            • 3. Re: Accessibility-Acrobat Pro DC
              a11ycarolyn Level 1

              oops, here's the screenshot:


              • 4. Re: Accessibility-Acrobat Pro DC
                a_C_student Level 3

                In my experience the Order Pane is worse the useless. It is much more likely to screw things up than to put things right. I recommend always using the Tags Pane to adjust the reading order.

                • 5. Re: Accessibility-Acrobat Pro DC
                  Dave__M Adobe Community Professional

                  Yes - you've found the needed tool.  You can visually see the assigned reading order here, and problems are often glaring.  If you see the 1st paragraph or element that should be read aloud first by a screen reader as having a number other than "1", you can adjust it's reading order by dragging the numbered listings in the reading order on the screenshot's left side - the order panel.  I would deem the reading order correct in your screen shot, as the numbers coincide with what your eyes would tell you to read and when.


                  The reason this requires a manual check is that there's no way for Acrobat to know if the words/paragraphs/figures, etc. are numbered properly.  If the pages footer is read first, there's a problem... but only a human being can determine that.  Having Acrobat read your document out loud is a great way to test reading order, as you can listen and follow along with the doc onscreen.  If you hear something out of place, you'll need to adjust the reading order in the order panel.