Making a simple document accessible in Acrobat Pro XI

These streamlined instructions are intended for use with relatively simple documents that require only basic accessibility formatting (e.g.. your document consists of only a few pages with a basic heading structure, a few simple images, no special requirements for security, interactivity, or language, etc.). For more complicated documents or for more detailed instructions, see Adobe’s Acrobat Accessibility Training Resources at

Every PDF document must be checked and corrected in Adobe Acrobat Pro to ensure its accessibility. Accessible PDF documents contain tagged elements (a method of marking items so that Assistive Devices can recognize them correctly) including headings and text blocks. Non-text elements such as images require descriptions, and reading order must match the logical flow of the document.

You may notice that there are other tools and methods in Adobe Acrobat Pro for making documents accessible. The only way to ensure your document is conformant with accessibility standards, however, is to perform a manual check of each accessibility element.

Steps for making your document Accessible in Acrobat Pro XI

  1. Open the Touch Up Reading Order tool
  2. Identify your document’s accessibility errors
  3. Clear/Fix Document Structure
  4. Revise existing tags in content
  5. Add new tags to content
  6. Add alternate text (text descriptions) to images
  7. Tag decorative images
  8. Correct reading order
  9. Set tab order
  10. Set title and language
  11. Final Review and Resources