What is a Tagged PDF?

Posted by: Jeff Mills on September 28, 2023

A tagged PDF, also known as a “PDF with tags” or “accessible PDF,” is a type of Portable Document Format (PDF) file that includes structural tags and metadata to enhance its accessibility for individuals with disabilities, especially those who use screen readers or other assistive technologies.

Structural tags are elements within the PDF document that provide information about the logical structure of the content, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, tables, and images. These tags help screen readers and other assistive technologies understand the document’s layout and organization, allowing users to navigate the content more easily and comprehend its structure.

Tagged PDFs are particularly important for individuals with visual impairments because they enable screen readers to interpret and present the content in a way that makes sense. For example, a screen reader can announce the presence of headings, describe the content of images, and provide context for tables and lists.

Creating tagged PDFs typically involves using software tools that support PDF accessibility, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro or other PDF authoring software. When a PDF is properly tagged, it complies with accessibility standards, making it easier for people with disabilities to access and interact with the content.

In summary, a tagged PDF is a PDF document that includes structural tags and metadata to improve its accessibility for individuals with disabilities, ensuring that they can access and understand the content using assistive technologies.

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