Acrobat Pro Accessibility Part 4 – Adding Tags

The Touch Up Reading Order (TURO) Tool allows users to apply/edit tags in a document and modify the document’s reading order. It is the primary tool used in PDF remediation.

To access it, go to Tools > Accessibility > Touch Up Reading Order. Note: If the Accessibility menu doesn’t display, go to View > Tools > Accessibility.

When you open the TURO tool, your view will change. If your PDF is tagged, grey content area boxes will appear with numbers in the top left. These numbers signify the read order on that page. Users may instead analyze the tag types by selecting Structure Types rather than Page Content Order.

For more complex documents, such as complex forms or documents containing tables, ensure “Display like elements in a single box” is unchecked.

If no content areas appear, your document is likely untagged. Tags can be manually added using the TURO tool, or added automatically using the Add Tags to Document tool from within the Accessibility Toolkit. Documents tagged using the automatic tool should be checked for accuracy using the Tags Pane and TURO tool afterwards.

Adding Tags to a Document Using the Touch Up Reading Order tool

To tag an item using the TURO tool:

  1. Open the TURO tool from within the Accessibility Toolkit.
  2. With the tool open, hovering your mouse over your document will display a crosshair. Using this crosshair, draw a box around your content element. A few notes:
    • The box must fully include the element. It will not register any content unless the element fits entirely within the square.
    • As you draw selection zones, you may inadvertently select additional content. It is possible to add or remove content from your current select. This is particularly helpful when working with tables or forms.
      • Mac:
        • Add Content to selection: Shift-click to add content to the selection.
        • Remove content from selection: Option-click to remove content from the selection.
      • Windows:
        • Add content to selection: Shift-click to add content to the selection.
        • Remove content: Control-click to remove content from the selection.
  3. Once the element is highlighted, select the corresponding tag type from the TURO tool. Alternatively, right click the element and choose the correct tag from the menu.

Tagging an Element as Decorative

The TURO tool offers an option to tag an element as ‘background.’ This tag type effectively hides the element from the Tags Panel, and thus renders it inaccessible to screen reader users. This type of tag may be used for decorative elements, or for sections of blank lines.

When considering if an element is decorative, ask yourself if additional information is included with the element, or if its removal will have any impact upon the content of the message.

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: