CTL GuidesResourcesAccessibility AccessibilityHow do I check for accessibility issues in Acrobat Reader (PDF)?

How do I check for accessibility issues in Acrobat Reader (PDF)?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use the accessibility checker in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to inspect your PDFs for accessibility issues. All HSU staff, students, and faculty have access to Adobe Creative Cloud. Try one of the follow to add Adobe Acrobat Pro.

1. Open your document

Use Acrobat to open your document. Once you have downloaded the application, you should be able to open the file from the directory and it will open with Acrobat Pro DC.

Adobe Acrobat interface with tool bar on right, workspace in center and menu across the top.

You can skip Step 2 if you already see the Accessibility Tool in the Toolbar on the right side of the window.

Acrobat toolbar with Accessibility tool highlighted with red outline.
2. Add the Accessibility Tool to your Toolbar

Click on the Tools Tab.

Acrobat Pro Tools Tab

Click the Add button below the Accessibility Tool.

Acrobat Pro Accessibility Tool Add button

3. Return to Document View

Click on the Document Tab.

Acrobat Pro Document Tab

4. Open the Accessibility Toolbar

Click on the Accessibility Tool in the Toolbar on the right side of the window.

Acrobat Pro Accessibility Tool button

5. Run an Accessibility Check of the document

Click on Accessibility Check in the Accessibility Toolbar on the right side of the window.

Accessibility Check button highlighted in the menu

Click on Start Checking to run the Accessibility Checker.

This window also allows you to edit how the Accessibility Checker will run:

  • Uncheck Create accessibility report if you do not want a separate report file to be generated.
  • Click through the Category dropdown to view all the checking options
Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker Options window

6. View the results

The Accessibility Checker panel will be opened on the left side of the window.

Click on each category to expand that section:

  • A green checkmark indicates that the test was passed.
  • A red circle with a white X indicates that the test was failed.
  • A blue circle with a white question mark indicates that the test must be done manually.

Some items can be fixed automatically by Acrobat, and some will need to be fixed manually.

Right-click on each item to see if they can be automatically fixed.

Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker results - Fix button

If the item cannot be fixed automatically, click on Explain to open the item's section in the Acrobat User Guide.

You will find a description of the reported issue and directions on how to fix it.

Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker results - Explain button
Acrobat User Guide - Tagged content section