Is your PDF compliant?

The checklist below is based on the content of the PDF. Acceptable answers are: yes, no or n/a.

If 'No' is the answer to any item, then the document is not 508 compliant.

These checks should be performed on all PDFs:
(No matter what is present in the actual content.)

  1. Is the PDF tagged? WCAG criterion 1.3.1
  2. Is the Document Title filled out in the Document Properties? WCAG 2.0 criterion 2.4.2
  3. Is the correct language of the document set? WCAG 2.0 criterion 3.1.1
  4. Did the PDF fully pass the Office and Adobe Accessibility Checker? WCAG 2.0 criterion 4.1.1
  5. Is the document free from content that flashes more than 3 times per second? WCAG 2.0 criterion 2.3.1
  6. Are accurate bookmarks provided for documents greater than 9 pages? WCAG 2.0 criterion 2.4.5
  7. Is the document free from review-related content carried over from Office or other editing tools such as comments, track changes, embedded speaker notes? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  8. Is the order in the tag structure accurate and logical? Do the tags match the order they should be read in? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.2
  9. Is all informational content contained in the tag structure? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  10. Are all non-standard tags appropriately mapped to standard Adobe tags? WCAG 2.0 criterion 4.1.2
  11. Is all the text within the tags correctly formatted? (Free from line breaks and split words) WCAG 2.0 criterion 4.1.1
  12. Do paragraph tags accurately represent visual paragraphs? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  13. Can text be resized and considered readable when magnified to 200%? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.4.4
This checklist is based on the new WCAG 2.0 requirements effective January 18, 2018.

If your document has other elements, additional checks are necessary:


  1. Is information conveyed by methods other than color alone? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.4.1
  2. Does all text (with the exception of logos) have a contrast ratio of 4.5:1 or greater no matter the size? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.4.3


  1. Are all form fields correctly tagged? WCAG 2.0 criterion 3.3.2
  2. Do all form fields contain understandable labels and tool-tips? WCAG 2.0 criterion 3.3.2
  3. Do the tool-tips contain all formatting requirements that will be automatically flagged as an error? WCAG 2.0 criterion 3.3.2
  4. Are required fields programmatically set? WCAG 2.0 criterion 3.3.1
  5. Is the tab order of the form fields logical? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.2


  1. Is text intended to act as a visual heading tagged with the heading tags (H1 through H6)? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  2. Do heading tags follow a logical hierarchical progression? (Do not skip heading levels) WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  3. Are heading tags used only on text that defines a section of content? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  4. Does the Heading text accurately describe the sectional content? WCAG 2.0 criterion 2.4.6


  1. Are all images conveying information tagged as figures and included in the tag structure? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  2. Do all images conveying information have alt text that provides the same level of understanding a visual user would gain? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.1.1
  3. Are all decorative images tagged as artifact/background? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.1.1
  4. Do complex images have an alternate accessible means of understanding? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.1.1
  5. Is the document free from images of text? (Picture of an informational table, screenshot of text from another source, etc.) WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.4.5
  6. Are groups of related images tagged in a way assistive technology users would understand? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.1.1


  1. Are links tagged correctly in the tag structure? (Contain visual link text and link OBJR within the Link tag) WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  2. Are links distinguished by a method other than color? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.4.1
  3. Can all link text be understood out of context? If not, does generic link have sufficient context? WCAG 2.0 criterion 2.4.4 


  1. Are all visual lists tagged correctly with the List, List Item (LI), and Body tags? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  2. Does the number of items in the tag structure match the number of items in the visual list? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  3. Are nested lists appropriately nested in the tag structure? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1

Other common elements

  1. Is any nonstandard text (glyph) tagged in an accessible manner? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.1.1
  2. Was OCR successfully performed on a scanned image document? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.4.5
  3. Was the language appropriately set for all foreign words or phrases? WCAG 2.0 criterion 3.1.2
  4. Is the table of contents tagged with appropriate tags? (TOC, TOC Item (TOCI)) WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  5. Are all internal links/TOC entries functioning correctly (if linked)? WCAG 2.0 criterion 2.4.5
  6. Are citations and footnotes/endnotes tagged with appropriate tags? (Reference, Note) WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1


  1. Does the document use table tags only for data tables? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  2. Does the table structure in the tag tree match the visual table layout? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  3. Are all header cells tagged with the TH tag? Are all data cells tagged with the TD tag? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  4. Do all Header cells contain text? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  5. Are merged cells correctly spanned with Colspan and/or Rowspan? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  6. Do data tables with 1 set of both column and row headers appropriately use scope to associate to data cells? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1
  7. Do data tables with more than 1 set of column and/or row headers appropriately use  id/headers to associate to data cells? WCAG 2.0 criterion 1.3.1

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