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.
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 ONE of the following:

  1. Enable tagging in the application in which the PDF sources material was created, and then re-create the PDF.
  2. 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.
  3. Choose Tools > Accessibility > Reading Order in Acrobat, and create the tags tree.
  4. Open the Tags panel and create the tags tree manually. To display the Tags panel, choose View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Tags.
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.


To set the language of the document manually, do ONE of the following:

  1.  Choose File > Properties > Advanced. Select a language from the drop-down list in the Reading Options section. If the language you want doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, you can enter the ISO 639 code for the language in the Language field.
  2. Set the language for all text in a subtree of the tags tree. Open the Tags panel, expand the Tags root, and select an element. Then choose Properties from the Options menu. Choose a language from the Language drop-down list.
  3. Set the language for a block of text by selecting the text element or container element in the Content panel. Then, right-click (on Windows) or Ctrl-click (On Mac OS) the text and choose Properties from the context menu. Choose a language from the language drop-down list.

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. Choose File > Properties > Description.
  2. Enter a title in the Title text box. Usually this is the actual title on the cover page.
  3. Click Initial View, and then choose Document Title from the Show drop-down list.
  4. Click OK and close the dialog box.



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.
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.