Tagged PDF Requirements

The Krieger School web team is reviewing pdfs across our sites for accessibility. According to federal guidelines, all pdfs on websites should be at least machine readable and tagged to meet legal and university accessibility requirements. Basically: unless a pdf is tagged, some users will not be able to read what’s in your pdf.

We know this is a busy time of year! Because of that, we are giving departments 60 days from the date of their email to fix the shared PDF(s). If they are not tagged and remediated by that time, they will be removed from the site. Note: if the PDFs no longer need to be on the website, but its source material (e.g. scanned research articles/publications, list of requirements, etc.) can be linked to an external website, that is an suitable remediation strategy.

Fixing these issues only takes a few minutes. These instructions explain how to autotag and remediate existing pdfs, along with information on how to make any future pdfs accessible in Microsoft 365 for Windows, Microsoft 365 for Mac, and Office for the web. 

Autotagging and Remediating an existing PDF

If PDFs are not tagged, tags can be added using Adobe Acrobat PRO using the Accessibility Checker.

  • Please read through the “Check accessibility of PDFs” section to check the document, and “Fix accessibility issues” section to fix the issues. 
  • The most common errors we’ve found in the PDFs shared with you are listed below. Please ensure all these errors are corrected before re-uploading the file.
  • The document is not tagged
  • The document has no bookmarks
  • The document is missing a language definition
  • The document has no title

There are also other tools, like Foxit, that you can use to tag pdfs. You can get a free trial with Foxit if needed. Commonlook is another tool that may work for you (PC only).

Once you have remediated the PDF, please upload it to the website in WordPress, replacing the previous version.

Autotagging and Remediating PDFs from Word

  • If you have still the original word document version of the pdf, you can add tags automatically and perform other accessibility tasks when you save a file in PDF format. Please review the webpage on saving a word document as an accessible pdf.
  • Once you have remediated the PDF, please upload it to the website in WordPress, replacing the previous version.