Why does the Accessibility Check always show my document as having issues even though I've made it accessible?

The Accessibility Check will always show Document (2 issues):

  • Logical reading order
  • Color contrast

These issues will ALWAYS be flagged in your PDF no matter how accessible you make it, as both issues require a manual review and cannot be automatically determined by Adobe Acrobat.

How to check logical reading order

NOTE: This is checked using the Tags toolbar, NOT the Reading Order toolbar. What’s the difference?

  1. In the left navigation pane, select the “Tags” toolbar
  2. Select the word “Tags” at the top of the tags tree
  3. Type the asterisk symbol (*) (Shift+8 on PC) to expand all the tags in the tag tree simultaneously, or expand all the arrows next to each of the tags that appear
  4. Starting from the top-most tag, press the down arrow key to navigate through all the tags in your document

As you arrow down through the tags in your document’s tag tree, you should see each one being outlined in your document as you arrow through it. The order in which each tag is outlined should appear logical: top-to-bottom and left-to-right.

If you don’t see the content in your document being highlighted as you navigate through the tags tree, you may need to enable that feature in the Tags Options menu. Expand the Options menu directly above the word “Tags” in your tags tree and ensure that “Highlight Content” is checked.

How to check color contrast

If your document’s color contrast was not previously checked in the source document using Microsoft’s built-in accessibility checker, you will need an external tool to check it. The Digital Accessibility team recommends using the Colour Contrast Analyser by TPGi to ensure that the contrast of the foreground text against the background sufficiently meets accessible color contrast requirements.

For more information on color contrast, please reference the following article: WebAIM: Contrast and Color Accessibility.

NOTE: You will not need to test this for every line of text in your document. Standard black text against a white background as well as most of the default Microsoft Office text themes will meet these requirements without any issue.

If you’ve verified that the logical reading order and color contrast of your document do not contain any accessibility issues, you can right-click on either of these issues in the Accessibility Check toolbar and select “Pass” to indicate that they meet the necessary accessibility requirements. However, if the document is closed and then re-opened, or shared with someone else, these issues will be flagged again as needing manual review.