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Advanced PDF Tagging Workshop, Part 1

taught by: Teenya Franklin

co-presented by: Desiree Sturdevant

Session Summary:

If you have ever worked on a PDF with complex content items (lists, tables and forms) then you may already be aware of the mysterious anomalies that can occur when these items won’t tag correctly using either the touch-up reading order and auto tagging tools available within Acrobat DC.

If this is the case, then maybe we can help ease your frustrations! Join us for this all-day PDF tagging workshop where we will work through a sample PDF and teach you how to tag lists, tables and form fields as well as work through any anomalies we may encounter.


Note: this is the first of 2 3-hour classes on Advanced PDF Tagging. The class will be continued in the afternoon.

During this session we will start by carefully listening to a short inaccessible sample PDF using a screen reader. This will demonstrate how sometimes what you “see” is not always accurately represented when using assistive technology to access content within electronic documents.

Once session attendees have experienced some of these issues firsthand we will work our way through tagging a complex PDF containing lists, tables and form fields without the use of any automated tagging features within Acrobat DC.

After we have completely tagged our sample PDF we will perform an accessibility test on our file which will include running the built-in accessibility checker and performing a paired review with a native assistive technology user and a sighted user to verify the information being presented by the assistive technology.

Our purpose for teaching you how to manually tag these items is simple, auto tagging can make tagging simple documents easier, but when it comes to complex content, auto tagging causes issues, making the task of remediation much harder. However, if armed with the knowledge of how to tag a document manually you can easily identify and correct most issues caused by auto tagging, (even when they just won’t act right!) therefore reducing time effort and money on cost of remediation of documents.

Important: This class assumes a basic understanding of accessibility tagging. While we welcome students of all skill levels, if you have little to no experience with tagging PDFs, we must warn you that this session is advanced. We will not be covering basic techniques. For those who are new to PDF accessibility we recommend you attend the Basic PDF session and any other relevant courses available.

Practical Skills:

During this session we will be walking attendees step by step through manually tagging a complex PDF containing lists, tables and form fields.


See “Important” in session description.