Recommendations when using MS Office applications:
1. If the original document is available, open that file in a Microsoft Office application
(if possible). Format the presentation of the document using the style elements
found under Format on the menu bar. Remember to add an appropriate "alt-tag" to
graphics and figures containing information through the Picture Properties menu.
Once this process is complete, follow the directions under the Creating the PDF
2. If the original document is not available (or cannot be opened in a Microsoft Office
application), open the PDF document in Adobe Acrobat 7.0. Then, follow the
directions in the next section, titled "Adding Tags to a PDF Document".
3. If the PDF document exists in an "Image Only" file format, it will be necessary to
use the Paper Capture tool in Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Capture software
application (or another OCR program of your choice). The Paper Capture tool or
Adobe Capture software provides Optical Character Recognition of the PDF
document image to yield a document containing text content (not a graphic
representation of the image). This is similar to starting with a TIFF document from
a scanner, and then using an OCR program such as OmniPage or ABBY
FineReader to recognize the actual letters and symbols on the page. The Paper
Capture tool in Adobe Acrobat may be found under the "Document" heading from
the menu bar.
Adding Tags to a PDF Document
Adobe Acrobat 7.0 allows users to create a tagged PDF document from untagged PDF files.
Tagged PDF documents are necessary for greater user accessibility as well as the capacity to
save a PDF document into alternate formats (e.g., HTML, Accessible Text, RTF, etc.).
Additionally, tagged PDF documents provide the ability to "reflow" the text information in a
PDF file to fit different screen dimensions.
If creating electronic forms, it is necessary to use Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional or Adobe
Designer 7.0 to create accessible form fields. If the forms may require updating on a regular
basis it is recommended to review Adobe Designer to deliver accessible interactive forms.
Adding tags manually to a PDF document does have some limitations. While Acrobat can
automatically add tags to a PDF document, there is no guarantee that the document content
will be tagged in the correct reading order. Documents that contain regions of high
complexity, such as visually-rich layouts, may not result in a tagged structure that follows the
logical reading order of the original document. Any graphics or charts in the PDF document
may not be processed correctly and may be rendered as "Figures" or "Inline Shapes". It is
necessary to identify these items and add the appropriate alternative text descriptions.
Adobe Acrobat 7 provides improved functionality to reorder and specify the logical reading
order of the PDF document using the "TouchUp Reading Order" tool. However, it is
necessary to first add tags to the document.