PDF Document Issues


Accessibility Permission Flag

This error occurs when an author has the accessible PDF set to where it cannot be copied, printed, extracted, commented on, or edited for security reasons. This can affect the way a screen reader will read the document. To fix this error:

  1. Choose File > Properties > Security.
  2. Choose “No Security” from the Security Method drop-down list.
  3. Click OK and close the Document Properties dialog box.
Image-Only PDF 

This error will occur when the software detects text, but not a font. This could be because the text is within an image, and this is an image-only PDF. To fix this error:

  1. Choose Tools > Enhance Scans. This toolset will appear in a secondary window.
  2. In the new, secondary window, choose Recognize Text > In This File.
  3. Select the pages you want to process for text, the document language, and then click on Recognize Text.

NOTE: We highly dissuade from using image-only PDFs. Please try to make your PDFs text-based content.

Tagged PDF

This error indicates that the PDF document you are viewing is not tagged to specify the correct reading order. Fixing this problem can be done automatically in most cases, but some cases require manual tagging. To fix this error, do the following:

  1. Choose Tools > Accessibility > Autotag Document in Acrobat. The Add Tags Report will appear in the navigation pane is there are any issues. This report will list any potential problems by page, provides a navigational link to each problem, and provides suggestions for fixing them.
Logical Reading Order

This error will appear on every accessibility check you make in Acrobat. This is because the error has to be checked manually. Logical Reading Order determines how screen reading software will read the contents, as well as what order. To check to make sure this content is correct, make sure that the reading order displayed in the Tags panel coincides with the logical reading order of the document. Most of the time, it’s Top to Bottom, Left to Right. To access reading order:

  1. On the right-side toolbar, click Reading Order. This will cause a secondary window to open.
  2. In the secondary window, click Show Order Panel in the bottom buttons. This will open a page-by-page layout of the pages reading order.
  3. Go through each page and verify that each item is in the right order. The first item to be read on the page will be represented by the number one, and so on.
  4. If you need to change the reading order, simply click and drag an item in the left hand order menu to it’s appropriate spot in the ordered list.
Document Language

Setting the language of the PDF can help some screen readers switch to the appropriate language. This check determines whether or not the primary language of the PDF has been set. It can be fixed both automatically and manually.

To set the language automatically:

  1. Select Primary Language in the Accessibility Checker tab.
  2. Choose Fix from the Options menu.
  3. Choose a language in the Set Reading Language dialog box and then click OK.



This error will occur when a PDF doesn’t have a title attached to the page. It can be fixed automatically, but we recommend you fix this error manually, since when you fix it automatically, the Title it automatically places can be obscure and long. To fix this problem:

  1. Right click Title in the accessibility checker results menu
  2. Click Fix from the menu that appears
  3. When the dialogue box appears, uncheck the box under Title that says "Leave As Is". This will give you access to the Title text box
  4. Type the appropriate title into the box, and click okay

Sometimes, when you click "Fix", the document will automatically insert a Title into the document. To check if the document has the correct title:

  1. Click on File
  2. From here, to to Properties.
  3. Look for the box labeled Title
  4. From here, you can change the title to whatever you need.
  5. When you are finished, click OK



This check will fail when a document has 21 or more pages, but doesn’t have bookmarks that parallel the document structure. This can be fixed by adding bookmarks. To add bookmarks:

  1. Select Bookmarks on the Accessibility Checker Panel.
  2. Choose Fix from the Options menu
  3. In the Structure Elements dialog box, select the elements that you want to use as bookmarks, and click OK. You can hold down CTRL on your keyboard while you click to select multiple objects from the list.

We recommend choosing bookmarks that will add appropriate structure to your document (i.e Headings of various levels

Color Contrast

This is error that has to be manually checked. If the document has any colored images or decoration, be sure that all text that may be incorporated on those images are the appropriate color contrast to the color of the image itself. This is important for people who may suffer from color-blindness.

You can also guarantee all colors in your document are accessible. To do this:

  1. Choose Edit > Preferences (for Windows) or Acrobat > Preferences (for Mac OS).
  2. Click Accessibility.
  3. Select Replace Document Colors, and then select Use High-Contrast Colors. Choose the color combination you want from the drop-down list, and click OK.