Home / Accessibility Tools / 6 Easy-To-Use PDF Accessibility Checkers
Hina Ilyas
Researcher
#pdfaccessibility #adacompliance
May 11, 2022
3 minutes

6 Easy-To-Use PDF Accessibility Checkers

There is so much information available about web accessibility that we often forget that digital accessibility goes beyond just landing pages and online stores. 

All too often, website owners receive demand letters even though they’ve taken steps to comply with WCAG standards, not realizing that PDFs need to be accessible too. 

Unfortunately, PDFs are not a compliance exemption – they need to meet specific ADA requirements too.

This is where a PDF accessibility checker becomes useful.

What is PDF Accessibility?

PDF can be made accessible

Prioritizing PDF accessibility means you’re ensuring that all users can access and engage with PDF documents on your site or server, regardless of ability.

An accessible PDF is compatible with assistive technology and software, including speech recognition software, screen readers, and screen magnifiers. This way, users with visual or hearing impairments can still access the content and media in a PDF. 

To make this possible, you would need to add tags to a PDF document – software such as Adobe Acrobat Pro simplifies this process. These tags give each document structure, making it easier for technology to understand and read the PDF to users. 

In terms of images, it’s important to add alternative text to each image to ensure disabled users understand what the image is about and how it’s relevant to the text. 

The easiest way to create an accessible PDF from scratch is to use an accessible source document such as Microsoft Word and convert that into a PDF format. For any existing PDFs, compliance checking is necessary.

How to Check PDF Accessibility?

PDF accessibility guidelines

There are two ways to check PDF accessibility – the first of which is using Adobe Acrobat’s built-in accessibility tool. The second is to use a third-party PDF accessibility checker.

A good online PDF accessibility checker will thoroughly check all elements, including text, tables, titles, and images. It should also provide you with a detailed report. Lastly, you want to make sure that the tool checks PDFs against the latest WCAG guidelines and standards.

Top 6 PDF Accessibility Checkers for Businesses

Here are the PDF accessibility checkers that come highly recommended.

accessiBe

accessiBe is one of the most recognized names in the web accessibility space, making their PDF checker one of the top tools available today. Simply upload your PDF files to a new project to run it through an automatic remediation process before an accessibility expert does the final checks.

UserWay

In just a few minutes, UserWay makes it possible to create fully accessible PDFs directly from Microsoft Word. This PDF checker helps you stay compliant with ADA, WCAG, and PDF/UA standards. The wizard takes you through a built-in process that standardizes all accessibility procedures.

Tingtun Checker

This online PDF accessibility checker is super simple to use. Simply add the link to the PDF you want to check or upload it directly to the site. The upload option doesn’t always work 100% though, so you may want to insert a link instead.

PAC PDF Accessibility Checker

This is another free PDF accessibility checker, but you will need to download it. Don’t worry, it’s safe to do so. PAC is only available for PC users though.

Sortsite Accessibility Checker

This tool works a little differently in the sense that it checks your entire website, including any documents. 

Commonlook PDF Checker

Test and validate PDF documents quickly and easily with Commonlook. This is one of the few tools that tests against Section 508, WCAG 2.0 AA, WCAG 2.1 AA, PDF/UA, and HHS standards.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know which tools you can use to check for PDF accessibility, there’s no reason why you need to worry about costly demand letters and a poor user experience.

By making your website as well as your PDFs accessible, you are ensuring your employees and customers can enjoy a more inclusive experience, which is what everyone deserves. 

Find out whether your website is accessible or not by conducting a test on Accessibility Checker.

Learn More About Accessibility

Grow your web and document accessibility knowledge by reading these recommended blogs:

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