Acrobat 9 Pro PDF Accessibility Repair Workflow
Making PDF Accessible with Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro
Remove or replace document structure tags
If the tags in a PDF file in Acrobat appear to be overly complicated you can try retagging an already tagged
document. To do this, you must first remove all existing tags from the tree.
If adding tags to a PDF in Adobe Acrobat results in a tagging structure that is overly complicated or too
problematic to fix, you can use the TouchUp Reading Order tool to remove or replace the current structure.
If the document contains mostly text, you can select a page and then remove headings, tables, and other
elements to create a cleaner, simpler tagging structure.
Acrobat can retag an already tagged document after you first remove all existing tags from the tree.
Replace the existing tag structure
This procedure works best in pages that contain a single column of text. If the page contains multiple
columns, each column must be selected and tagged individually.
Select the TouchUp Reading Order tool.
In the document pane, drag to select the entire page. The selection includes both text and nontext
Ctrl-drag/Command-drag around nontext page elements—such as figures and captions—to
deselect them, until only text is selected on the page. Click Text in the TouchUp Reading Order
In the document pane, select a nontext page element, such as a figure and caption, and click the appropriate
button in the dialog box to tag it. Repeat until all page content is tagged.
Remove all tags from a PDF
Open the Tags tab (View > Navigation Panels > Tags) and select the root (topmost) tag, Tags.
In the Tags tab, choose Options > Delete tag.
The Clear Page Structure command in the TouchUp Reading Order dialog box removes all
tags from the currently visible pages.
While you can use the TouchUp Reading Order tool to create tags in untagged PDFs or to add new tags to an
existing structure, this manual tagging doesn’t provide the same level of detail to the tagging structure as the
Add Tags To Document command, such as paragraphs, bulleted and numbered lists, line breaks, and
hyphens. Before you clear the existing structure, make sure that manual tagging is your only recourse.
To perform more advanced reading order and tagging tasks—such as fixing complex tables, removing
obsolete tags after you delete pages, and adding alternative text to links—you may need to use the Content
Panel and the Tags panel, which provide an alternate set of tools and features for manipulating PDF tags.
Use the Content Panel to correct reflow problems in a PDF that can’t be corrected by using the TouchUp
Reading Order tool. Because you can damage a PDF by editing content objects, make sure that you’re
familiar with PDF structure before you change anything. For comprehensive information about PDF
structure, see the PDF Reference Sixth Edition: Adobe Portable Document Format Version 1.7, on the
reference page (English only) of the Adobe website.
The Content Panel provides a hierarchical view of the objects that make up a PDF, including the PDF object
itself. Each document includes one or more pages, a set of annotations (such as comments and links), and
the content objects for the page, consisting of containers, text, paths, and images. Objects are listed in the