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Accessible files

Did you know that accessibility standards also concern PDF files?

PDF is one of world’s most popular and commonly used, software independent file formats. Producing PDF forms is quite easy, but making them accessible is more of a challenge.

Two levels of accessibility

In order to ensure accessibility of PDF forms, two key aspects should be taken into consideration: cognitive and technical accessibility.

The goal of cognitive accessibility is a form that’s as simple and easy to use as possible.

With many forms, the main idea is still to make a tabular form which is as compact as possible. This is based on saving paper. The clarity of such a form, and therefore its accessibility, is really poor.

Another, even more essential perspective is asking only necessary questions. Why ask for a phone number if there is no intention to call a customer? When is it relevant to know a customer’s gender? There are numerous examples.

Another equally important factor is the form’s technical accessibility.

How to set alt texts for images and tooltips for form fields, how to “code” various form fields and links—as in, how to mark them correctly so that even screen readers understand them? There are other examples and plenty of gimmicks to master.

Practical help from Avaava

The good news about designing a PDF form is that help is available. Avaava can help and design compact, accessible and visually fresh forms, even from scratch.

Avaava’s experts have made hundreds of PDF files and forms accessible. We fix your files with highly professional skills and always assure their user experience with a screen reader.

If you need help making your files accessible, please contact myynti@avaava.fi.