Acrobat Pro Accessibility Part 3 – Navigating the Tags Pane

Person appears to be ready to mark a checklist of items. Next to person doing this is a laptop computer.

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.

The Tags Pane displays the programmatic structure of a PDF document. The goal when remediating PDFs for accessibility is to ensure the Tags Pane accurately reflects both the content and structure of your PDF.

Displaying the Tags Pane

Despite being a fundamental tool within Acrobat Pro, the Tags Pane is not displayed by default. To display the Tags Pane, go to View > Show/Hide > Navigation Panes > Tags. The Tags Pane will be displayed on the left of the Acrobat Pro window.

Understanding and Navigating the Tags Pane

The Tags Pane displays the content of the PDF nested within structural tags, much like HTML. For instance, a section of heading 1 text will be contained within an H1 tag, and images will be contained within Figure tags. While all documents are unique, a standard document’s tag tree may appear as:

  • Tags
    • Document
      • H1
        • Document Title text
      • P
        • Introductory paragraph text
      • H2
        • Section Title text
      • P
        • Section paragraph text
      • Figure
        • Image (dimensions)

When selecting an element within the Tags Pane, the corresponding content will highlight. The Pane can be navigated using either the keyboard arrows or the mouse. A screen reader, or other assistive technology, is likely to rely upon the tag tree when reviewing a PDF, so the order of the tags within the Tags Pane is crucial. Elements can be dragged and dropped into the correct order.

Next time we will cover adding and deleting tags within a standard text document. 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.

Previous posts in the Acrobat Pro Accessibility series: