Acrobat Pro Accessibility Part 2 – Repairing Language, Title and Alternative Text Errors

Two people meeting in front of a laptop.

This week Robert Hardy, our district website accessibility specialist, continues the series on creating accessible documents within Adobe Acrobat Pro. Please email Robert with any accessibility tips or questions.

Last week’s blog post covered enabling the Accessibility Tools Pane and running an accessibility check within Acrobat Pro. This week we’ll cover repairing some of the more common errors encountered when using the Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker.

Primary Language

The primary language of a document is important, as it tells the screen reader which language and pronunciation to use. If you are seeing “Primary language – Failed” in your Acrobat accessibility checker, follow these steps to repair it:

  1. In the Accessibility Checker pane, select “Primary language- Failed”
  2. Right Click and select “Fix.”
  3. Acrobat will attempt to detect the document language. If it is incorrect, select the language from the drop-down.
  4. Click ok.

If your document’s language isn’t listed as an option, you can manually set the language using three letter ISO 639-2 language codes. A comprehensive list of ISO language codes is available on the Library of Congress website. To manually set the language using one of these codes:

  1. Go to File>Properties
  2. Select the Advanced tab
  3. Under Reading Options, type the corresponding language code into the Language field. For instance, if the document’s language was Vietnamese, we would enter ‘Vie’ in the language field.
  4. Click OK.


The title field of a document allows the screen reader user to hear the title as they enter a document. It is typically displayed in the toolbar above your document. To fix the title error, follow these steps:

  1. In the Accessibility Checker pane, select “Title – Failed.”
  2. Right click and select “fix.” This will apply your document’s filename to the document. 

If you would like a different document title:

  1. Click File > Properties
  2. Enter a title into the “Title” field and click OK.

Figures alternative text – Failed

When assistive technologies such as a screen reader encounter an image, they require alternative text to describe the image to the user. Effective alternative text defines both the content and the function of the image. A simple experiment when writing alternative text is to imagine if the image was missing – would the alternative text convey the entirety of the image’s message?

To fix the alternative text error within Acrobat Pro:

  1. In the Accessibility Checker, expand “Alternate Text”, then “Figures alternate text – Failed”, then select “Figure 1”. The corresponding figure will highlight.
  2. Right click “Figure 1” in the Accessibility Checker, and select “Fix.” A pop-up window will appear. Enter the alternative text, or select “decorative figure”.
  3. If there are multiple errors, select the right arrow and make your way through them, adding text as required.
  4. When you are done, click “Save & Close.”

Thank you for your work in creating accessible PDFs. In our next post in the series, we’ll cover using the Tags Pane, a powerful tool that is fundamental to PDF accessibility. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding using Acrobat Pro or other accessibility concerns, please reach out to Robert Hardy in the Communications and Community Relations Department.