What is a Tagged PDF and how do you know if you have one?
Tagging PDF documents is our primary output, our namesake and a large part of our vision to make the world more accessible. The process doesn’t change the ‘look’ of a document to a sighted person, instead it essentially explains what each piece of information is within the document and in what order these pieces of information come.
This information is used by screen readers and other assistive technologies to navigate a document, and act in the same way that visual cues and layout aspects do for sighted readers. The ultimate goal is to provide all of the same information to any person accessing the document – no matter how they choose to do so.
What we do is assign a ‘tag’ to each piece of content – whether it be a certain level of heading, a paragraph, figure, table, list, note, reference, or simply decorative visual elements. Complex visual items such as complex tables, graphs, images, flow charts and others are assigned supporting information known as ‘alternate text’.
This is exactly what it sounds like – text that is alternate to the visuals on the page. The general rule is to explain everything that a sighted person would understand from looking at that visual. This means you cannot give more, or less information than an average person would get – allowing the same access to information for all.
We also add bookmarks and descriptive information to the document to make to easier to recognise and navigate. These are especially important to allow users to ‘skim’ the document by skipping from one block of content to another if they don’t want to engage with it.
Contact us today to find out how we can make your documents more accessible.