Reading Order Tool
If the document is tagged, but specific content is still missing, open the Reading Order tool on the Accessibility panel. Tagged content will be shaded with either a number (which corresponds to the piece of content's place in the reading order) or an abbreviation for the tag type (e.g. "P" represents a Paragraph tag). These are groups of content with tags assigned to them. An untagged piece of content will not be shaded.
Helpful hint: Be sure to save copies of the document as updates are made. The Undo button cannot be used to reverse changes made while using the Reading Order tool. Reverting to a saved document is the only way to undo changes made while using the Reading Order tool.
To add tags to untagged content, use the cursor to draw a rectangle around content. When content is highlighted, a blue box will appear around it. Choose the most appropriate tag from the buttons on the Reading Order and click the button to tag the content. The buttons include the following tag types:
- Text: Tags the selection as text.
- Background: Tags the selection as a background element, or artifact, removing the item from the tag tree so that it doesn’t appear in the reflowed document and isn’t read by screen readers.
- Figure: Tags the selection as a figure. Text contained within a figure tag is defined as part of the image and is not read by screen readers.
- Figure/Caption: Tags a selected figure and caption as a single tag. Any text contained in the tag is defined as a caption. Useful for tagging photos and captions and preventing caption text from being incorrectly added to adjacent text blocks. Figures may require alternate text.
- Table: Tags the selection as a table after the selection is analyzed to determine the location of headings, columns, and rows.
- Cell: Tags the selection as a table or header cell. Use this option to merge cells that are incorrectly split.
- Form Field: Tags the selection as a form field.
- Formula: Tags the selection as a formula. Because speech software may handle formula tags differently from normal text, it may be necessary to add a description using alternate text.
- Heading 1-6: Tags the selection as a first, second, third, fourth, fifth or sixth level heading tag. Heading elements can be converted to bookmarks to help users navigate the document.
- Show Page Content Groups: Outlines each content group, and allows the user to select between Page content order, which displays content based on it’s numerical order value, and Structure types, which displays content type, for example Paragraph or Figure, in place of numerical values.
- Show Page Content Order: Shows content elements as highlighted areas that contain numbers to indicate the reading order. The rectangle next to this entry is a color swatch. Specify the desired highlight color for page content order by clicking the color swatch.
- Show Table Cells: Highlights the content of individual table cells. The rectangle next to this entry is a color swatch. Specify the highlight color for Table Cells by clicking the color swatch.
- Show Tables and Figures: Outlines each table and figure with a crossed-out box. The box also indicates whether the element includes alternate text. The rectangle next to this entry is a color swatch. Specify the highlight color for Tables and Figures by clicking the color swatch.
- Delete Selected Item Structure: Removes the structure from the selected item.
- Clear Page Structure: Removes the tagging structure from the page. Use this option to start over and create a new structure if the existing structure contains too many problems.
- Show Reading Order Panel: Opens the Order tab to allow reordering of the highlighted content.
While using the Reading Order tool, some of the items have additional editing options once right-clicked:
- Table Editor: Automatically analyzes the selected table into cells and applies the appropriate tags. Table Editor is only available for content that is tagged as a table.
- Edit Table Summary: Available via context menu on a highlighted table. Allows the user to add or edit a text description of the table that is read by a screen reader or other assistive technology.
- Edit Alternate Text: Available via context menu on a highlighted figure. Allows the user to add or edit a text description about the figure properties that is read by a screen reader or other assistive technology.
- Edit Form Field Text: Available via context menu a form field. Allows the user to add or edit a form field text description that is read by a screen reader or other assistive technology.
Read more about the Reading Order tool.
The Tags panel is the most advanced panel for tagging PDF files. Advanced users may primarily use the Tags panel for tagging documents in combination with several tools. This method can be complicated and is not the recommended method for adding tags to a document.
Find basic instructions on how to manually edit tags in the Tags panel using Adobe Acrobat's Accessibility tool below.
- Add or edit a tag title: Right-click a tag, choose Properties from the Options menu, enter text in the Title box and click Close.
- Change the element type: Expand the section of the logical structure that needs to be changed. Right-click an element and choose Properties from the Options menu. Choose a new element type from the Type menu and click Close.
- Move a container or object: Click and drag or cut and paste the item within the tags structure.
Find more information on editing tags and correcting reflow problems.