The Secret of Making PDF Documents Section 508 Compliant Much Faster
Have you spent hours after hours browsing the structure of your PDF document just to ensure that it is Section 508 compliant?
Did you ever get frustrated because it took you to patch it up longer than writing the original document?
You can save yourself some major time and headache when you get the legwork done in the source document.
There are two ways to make a PDF Section 508 compliant. The less preferred method is to work on the tag structure until it is good to go. Sometimes a 5-10 page document can take hours.
It is much more effective if you ensure that your source document is as accessible as possible. One good way to approach this is by using styles, wherever you can. Ensure that your source document has a clear structure and hierarchy. For example:
- If you would like to create a document title, don't just select the text and change the font. Rather, use the title or heading 1 style.
- If you create a table of contents, don't just manually drop in the page numbers. Use an actual table of contents which links to the individual chapters. This way page numbers will automatically update.
- When you create a table, use the table feature, don't just separate items by using tabs.
And don't forget, those images need to be labeled too, and you can get it done much faster in your source document.
There are plenty more things you could do to speed up the process.
I am not saying that once you do everything in the source document, you just save the PDF and you are good to go, unfortunately you may still end up with accessibility issues. But at least this way you will have much less to correct.
We ran some tests recently, and it appeared that when people prepared accessible source documents, they spent only one fifth of the time on remediation. That's hours and days sometimes you save you can use somewhere else.
If you need help working with your source documents and creating Section 508 compliant PDF documents, contact us, we will be happy to assist you.
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Read more about our Section 508 compliant PDF training.