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PDF format has become a standard for the publication of digital documents. PDF documents have their own tags and rules, so when creating or converting these documents we must take them into account to guarantee the accessibility.
PDF documents are organized internally in different tags. The tags give structure to the document -headings, lists, sections, etc-. Therefore, the same accessibility requirements that we have seen in the previous sections apply when:
This is the case of applications that install a PDF printer in our system to save any content in this format. But the resulting PDF document is text without structure and, in the worst case, the content is created in images, which will make the document inaccessible to people who use support products.
The easiest way to generate an accessible PDF document is to save our work done in Word.
If we have taken into account the accessibility requirements seen in the previous sections, our document will also be accessible. On the contrary, if our Word document does not contain a structure: no titles, no alternative texts in images, etc., the resulting PDF document will not be accessible either.
To save a Word document as PDF, we follow these steps:
It is important to note that interactive Word or PowerPoint elements such as charts, equations, forms or SmartArt schemes will be exported to PDF as simple images and therefore we must make modifications to the resulting PDF to guarantee accessibility.
When we install Acrobat Professional or Acrobat DC, we add an add-on to Microsoft Office that allows us to save our Office documents as a PDF in a more advanced way.
To create a PDF document with the Acrobat plugin in Word, we follow these steps:
As we have said before, in most cases PDF documents are the result of conversion from other formats, such as Word or PowerPoint, so if we want to make modifications to our PDF documents, the simplest option is to make the modifications on the original documents and re-save them as PDF.
However, sometimes this is not possible because we do not have the original document in Word or PowerPoint, so we must use a PDF document editing tool such as Adobe Professional or Adobe DC.
Now the process would be the opposite, convert a PDF document with accessibility errors to Word, make the modifications and then save it again as PDF.
To convert a PDF document to Word we follow these steps in Adobe Professional:
We can scan documents with PDF from... images and even directly through a scanner or camera.
Let's imagine that we have a printed document, and we do not have the original. We need to make it accessible so that a person with visual disability can have it in digital format. For this purpose, Adobe Professional has tools to help us achieve it.
Once the document that we want to scan has been opened in Adobe Professional, we follow these steps to perform an Optical Character Recognition (OCR):
Depending on the size of our document, digitization will take more or less time. Once finished, it is advisable that we check that the text, images or titles have been recognized.
The most problematic elements such as bookmarks or tables are not recognized with the same precision. So, we should continue working on the document.
Sometimes we have no other option than to directly modify the tags that make up a PDF document. To make the tags panel visible, we follow these steps:
From this moment we have the Label panel . This panel shows the tagging tree that contains our document. We can go unfolding levels until we reach the label that we want to modify.
The tags are modified by clicking on them with the right mouse button and selecting Properties.
The properties window of the tag will open, in which we can modify, among other things:
After scanning a document or a poorly wrongly PDF conversion, the resulting PDF document lacks tags of any kind (headings, lists or paragraphs...) To solve this problem and give tags to our documents, we follow these steps:
Now we can check that tags appear in the tags panel. In the case of images, they are well recognized, but you should add an alternative text with your description.
Adobe Professional has a tool to add the description of images easily. To use it, we follow these steps:
In the Accessibility options of the secondary lateral tool panel, click on Set alternative text.