PDF File 508 Checklist
If you are responsible for creating or signing off/clearing files, you can use this checklist as part of your process. You may find it helpful to review the checklist before you create your file, and also to print out the checklist and check off each item after you have created your file, or when you receive the file.
Last Updated: March 2013
1.0.Master Requirements for all Documents
Does the document file name not contain spaces and/or special characters?
Is the document file name concise, generally limited to 20–30 characters, and does it make the contents of the file clear?
Have the Document Properties for Title, Author (an HHS OpDiv, StaffDiv, or Program Office---not an individual’s names), Subject (AKA Description), Keywords, and Language been filled out?
Does the document utilize recommended fonts (i.e., Times New Roman, Verdana, Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, or Calibri)?
Have track changes been accepted or rejected and turned off?
Have comments been removed and formatting marks been turned off?
Does the document refrain from using flashing/flickering text and/or animated text?
Are all URLs linked to correct Web destinations?
Are all internal links/TOC entries functioning correctly (if linked)?
Are links (including e-mail addresses) keyboard accessible?
Has a separate accessible version of the document been provided when there is no other way to make the content accessible?
Is the color contrast ratio between foreground text and background color at least 4.5:1?
Has the document been reviewed in Print Preview for a final visual check?
2.0. General Layout and Formatting Requirements
Is the document free of scanned images of text?
Have bookmarks been included in all PDFs that are more than 9 pages long? And, if bookmarks are present, are they logical?
Are decorative images marked as background/artifact?
Have all scanned signatures been removed from the PDF? (see http://webstandards.hhs.gov/standards/41)
If there is an automated accessibility checker in the program used to create the PDF, has that been run and does it pass?
Is the document free of layout tables?
Do images/graphics appear crisp and legible?
If a table of contents (TOC) is present, are the page numbers correct, and, if linked, does the TOC function correctly?
3.0.Accessibility Tagging and Reading Order
Have PDF tags been added to the document?
Does the order of the PDF Tags match that of the order that the content should be read in?
Has the PDF been formatted using Style elements (i.e., the title of the document as Heading 1, the first-order heading as Heading 2, etc.?)
Are heading styles organized in a hierarchal and logical fashion, with consecutive headings (i.e., no missing heading levels).
If nonstandard/custom tags are used, have they been mapped correctly in the Document Roles dialogue box and verified as working via assistive technology testing: (e.g., JAWS, Window Eyes, NVDA, and Dragon)?
Have documents with multicolumn text, tables, or call-out boxes been checked for correct reading order?
Are any footnotes or references tagged with standard Note and Reference tags and placed in the proper logical reading order?
4.0. Document Images Requirement
Is the document free of background images or watermarks?
Are multiple associated images on the same page (e.g., boxes in an organizational chart) grouped as one object?
Have all multilayered objects been flattened into one image and does that image use one alternative text description for the image?
Do all images, grouped images, and nontext elements that convey information have meaningful alternative-text descriptions?
Do complex images (i.e., charts and graphs) have descriptive text near the image (perhaps as a caption)?
5.0. Lists and PDF Tables
Have lists been tagged completely, making use of all four of the following tags: L, LI, Lbl, and LBody tags?
If the document has a tabular appearance, was that tabular structure made using the table option (as opposed to manual tabs and/or spaces)?
Are blank cells avoided?
Do all tables have a logical reading order from left to right, top to bottom?
Do all data tables in the document have Row and/or Column headers?
Do header rows repeat across pages if the table is multiple pages?
Are all table cells, with the exception of those in the Header Rows or columns, designated as data cells?
Are data cells set so they do not split across pages?
If the table is a simple table, does it have scoping applied to the appropriate Row/Column Headers?
If the table is a complex table, does it have id and header attributes to associate the data cells with the column/row headers?
Are all tables described and labeled (where appropriate)? Note: In some cases naming/numbering of tables may not be appropriate. For example, a small data table in a presentation may not need a reference.
6.0. Form Fields
Do all form fields have correct labels and markups:
Are all form fields keyboard accessible?
Are all multiple-choice answers keyboard accessible and grouped together as form-field sets?
If you need assistance with meeting any of the above criteria, please check out the tutorials and resources at www.hhs.gov/web/508.