Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Evaluations

Adobe Acrobat Accessibility Evaluations
Content TypeDescriptionHow to Check/Test 

Document Markup

Document has meta tags
  • Author
  • Title

File > Properties > Description tab and Initial View tab to select Document Title in the drop-down, next to Show.


Reading language of the document must match the text.

File > Properties > Advanced > Language

Page Numbers

Page numbers should be tagged as “artifacts”.

On left panel open Page Thumbnails and right-click on the page to start numbering, choose Page Labels. You can choose All pages or the range of pages, depending on the document. The drop-down lets you choose the page Style that’s being used in the document.

Recognizable Text

Document has recognizable or selectable text.Run the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) using Enhance Scans tool.


When the documents have more than nine (9) pages, it needs to have bookmarks. Bookmarks are best added at the end when the heading structure tagging is finalized.Select the Bookmarks panel on the left side of the screen and check if bookmarks have been applied for documents longer than nine (9) pages.


  • Title of the document is listed as a <H1>
  • Major subsection titles <H2>
  • Further subsection titles, and so forth <H3>, <H4>
  • Section headings are properly tagged and ordered in the document.

Accessibility Tool pane> open the Reading Order and Tags Panel to check if headings have been tagged in proper hierarchy structure and have been placed correctly in the logical reading order of the document.



  • All text items are tagged.
  • Text items are tagged with appropriate tag.
    • Headings have the <H> tag
    • Normal text is tagged as paragraph text <P>
    • List are tagged properly through use of <L>, <LI>, and <LBody> tags OR <L> and <LI>
  • Tags are in the correct order in the Tags pane.
  • There are no empty tags.

Accessibility Tool pane> open the Reading Order and Tags Panel to check if tags are present and if they are, check to see if text is tagged with the correct identification markup.


  • Images are tagged as “figure”.
  • Images have descriptive alternative text.
  • Be brief and descriptive.
  • “Image of…” or “photo of…” or “graphic of…” is not needed.
  • Images should have captions if the images convey complicated information, this will provide equal access to all users.
  • Images with captions must be tagged a “Figure/Caption”.
  • Decorative images should be tagged as “artifacts”.
  • Images should be visibly easy to comprehend (not pixilated, not too small, etc.)
  • Limit the use of text as images.
Accessibility Tool Pane > Reading Order tool open, review your images to see if they were tagged as <figure>. Review if images have alternative text.


  1. Select colors with deep contrast between the foreground and background.
  2. Provide captions if using color to convey meaning i.e. which section is highlighted in red?
  1. Use the Colour Contrast Analyzer to ensure accessible contrast.
  2. Review the document to identify if only color is used to convey info.


  • Links should be clear and directly relate to the title or heading of the linked page.
  • Use “Visit the Universal Design Center” instead of “Click here for more details.”
  • Do not use the same link text to refer to different resources.
  • Do not use different link text to refer the same resources.
  • Link tags have an OBJR element included.
  1. When a link tag is present without and OBJR element, select the options button under the tags panel and select find.  Change the drop-down menu to ‘unmarked links’ and select ‘find next’.  Once you have come to the desired link select ‘tag element’.
  2. Review all the links in the page.
  3. Visually verify that the following phrases are not used as links: Click Here, Read More, More, More information.
  4. Review the link text to make sure it is descriptive enough to understand where it will lead.
  5. Check to see if there are any link text’s that have the same text.
  6. Check the link to see if it leads to an active page.



  • Use tables to organize data not format as layout.
  • Avoid merged, split, or blank cells.
  • If data tables are present in document, they must have:
  1. Summary
  2. Heading cells for columns or rows
  3. Data cells must be marked as data cells
  4. If complex data tables are present, they must be organized with proper data cell association with header cells
  1. Summary: With the Reading Order tool open, right click the desired table and select ‘Edit table summary’
  2. Heading cells: With the Reading Order tool open, select a table and select table editor mode.  From here right click on header cells and select ‘Table cell properties’ and change cell type to header and associate either column or row depending on which header cell it is.
  3. Data cells: With the Reading Order tool open, select a table and select table editor mode.  From here right click on data cells and select ‘Table cell properties’ and change cell type to data cell.
  4. Complex data: With the Reading order tool open, select your table and select the ‘table editor’ option in the touch up reading order tool.  From there right click on a data cell and check to ensure that under ‘Associated Header Cell ID’s’ the headers of each row or column the data cell is under is listed there.

Reading Order

Reading order of the document makes logical sense.

Select the Z-Order Panel and drag and drop tagged elements to re-order text.

Keyboard Accessibility

  • Functionality of content in a document should be accessible using the keyboard.
  • When navigating a document using they keyboard, “tab” key, the tab order should directly connect to the structural design of the document.
  • Visible keyboard focus should be present to provide user a visible queue of where there keyboard focus indicator is located.
  • Keyboard commands should be accessible without trapping a user into an element in the document. 

Manually navigate the page using “tab” key only. Note any interactive elements that are not accessible via tab key, verify tab order, verify if visual focus is present, and verify if any traps occur at one particular element.

 Accessibility Check

Run a full check on your document in order to see what errors/issues in Acrobat flags. The report help you identify potential issues and provide tips on how to fix them.

Accessibility Tool Pane> Full Check

Screen Readers

Use screen readers to finalize your document accessibility features.

Use NVDA which is a free screen reader, JAWS is paid screen reader, TalkBack for Android, VoiceOver for iOS.


Testing and Learning Tools