PDF Accessibility Explained

A PDF is considered accessible if the content and any media within it can be understood by users with disabilities using assistive technology or software. 

Examples include magnifiers, screen readers, and voice recognition software.

Adding tags to a PDF is one way to make it accessible as the tags give the document a structure that assistive technology can understand. Adding alt text to images is another step in making your PDFs easier to understand and access.

PDF Accessibility refers to the ability of a PDF document to be easily understood and navigated by people with disabilities, such as those who are blind or visually impaired, or those who have mobility impairments. Accessible PDFs allow anyone, regardless of ability, to access the information contained in a document.

The Best PDF Accessibility Software

Choosing the best PDF accessibility software depends on your needs and budget. 

Here are some of the best common choices:

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC: This industry standard is a powerful tool that lets you create and edit PDFs, as well as remediate existing ones for accessibility. It offers a comprehensive set of features for making PDFs accessible, including automatic tag insertion, reading order correction, and color contrast checking. 

PAVE: PAVE is a more affordable option that focuses specifically on PDF accessibility remediation. It’s a good choice for users who need a simple and straightforward tool to check and fix accessibility issues in their PDFs.

Foxit: Foxit offers a PDF accessibility checker that can identify potential issues in your documents. It also has some basic remediation tools, but it’s not as comprehensive as Acrobat Pro DC or PAVE.

Abledocs: Abledocs is a cloud-based solution that can automatically convert inaccessible PDFs into accessible formats like HTML and WCAG 2.0 AA-compliant PDFs. It’s a good option for users who need to remediate a large number of PDFs quickly and easily.

CommonLook PDF: CommonLook PDF offers a free PDF validator plugin that can be used to check your documents against various accessibility standards. They also offer a paid subscription service that provides more advanced remediation features.

Here are some additional factors to consider when choosing PDF accessibility software:

Ease of use: Some software is easier to use than others. If you’re not familiar with PDF accessibility, you may want to choose a tool with a simple interface and good documentation.

Features: Consider the specific features that you need, such as automatic tag insertion, reading order correction, and color contrast checking.

Cost: PDF accessibility software can range in price from free to several thousand dollars per year. Choose the tool that fits your budget.

By considering these factors, you can choose the best PDF accessibility software for your needs.

Why are Accessible PDFs Important for Your Business?

Here are some vital reasons why you need accessible PDFs for your business:

1. Use of Navigational Features

Accessible PDFs save time by using tags to specifically categorize information. Such a document also contains tags for images, headings, tables, paragraphs, lists, graphs, and table headers. These features redirect you instantly to the section you are searching forEnsure that the Tagged PDF property in the bottom left column of the document says ‘Yes’. Tags help you search for a list or chapter in your document without the need for scrolling through everything. This helps you save time and effort.

2. The Convenience of Searchable Text

Based on the content, a document can have a single page or multiple pages. The searchable text feature of an accessible PDF helps you work more efficiently by skimming through every page and looking for the phrase, clause, or word you typed in the search bar. The feature helps you save time and energy as you don’t have to read the document from beginning to end while looking for a particular statement. 

3. Commands and Preferences for Assistive Technology Devices and Software

One of the most notable features of accessible PDF is its ability to be optimized for output by assistive technologies. These technologies are types of software, programs, or devices that allow people with disabilities to access document content.

Some of these include text that Braille printers and speech synthesizers can easily access. Other important tools include a screen magnifier that supports high contrast between background and foreground and different colors, making your document easier to see for other readers. You can carry out these actions with the help of tools available for accessible PDFs.

4. Non-Text Elements with Alternative Text Descriptions

Including lists, charts, images, and other non-text images when creating documents can help you make more use of your information. Businesses generally utilize graphs and charts for making presentations, allowing various factors in the company to be easy to understand and visualize. You are also able to see the visual and linear progress of numerous business facets. 

5. Adding Texts and Accessing Them

Compared to traditional documents, digital documents have an important feature: hyperlinks. These are clickable texts in a document that redirect you to a different website. Hyperlink texts are beneficial for businesses as they help in promoting their services/products via hyperlinks. Additionally, you can find websites and documentation to support you without leaving a record. Accessible PDFs help readers in clicking on hyperlinks for more seamless access to files.

Conclusion

When it comes to running a business, it is important to store the documents effectively and ensure their easy access. PDFs are the most common documents that are shared, signed, and sent across the world, but there are limitations to these docs. This is where accessible PDFs are used as they provide more features and make it easier for a wide range of readers to use the documents. Accessible PDF and its myriad of tools create a path to enterprise participation and enable business processes to run efficiently. 

SuperDTP Ltd is a specialized desktop publishing agency located in Gabrovo Bulgaria, offering book publishing, multilingual DTP, and E-learning localization services to translation agencies and localization companies worldwide! Check our services at www.superdtp.com or contact us at dtp.bulgaria@gmail.com for further details.


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