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Step 4:  Preparing a PDF For Posting

A.   Using Toolbars:

Graphic labeling the Adobe Acrobat menus, tool bars, icons and other controls.

Adobe Acrobat 8.0 uses menus, tool bars, icons and other controls to format PDFs. It also uses special features, and creates additional accessibility functions.

You are now ready to prepare the converted document for posting on the Web.

  • Document Properties
  • Remove Hidden Content and Comments
  • Bookmarks
  • Hyperlinks
  • Accessibility Tags
  • Accessibility Report
  • Review Table Tags
  • Reduce File Size

B.  Document Properties:

PDF Document properties are very similar to Word Document properties. Word document properties will transfer to the PDF document properties.

If you receive a PDF and are not sure if the source was formatted correctly, then check the properties by following the instructions below.

PDF Document properties may be displayed by clicking on “File”, then “Properties”.

Graphic of the File pull down list from the Menu bar. Properties is highlighted. Shortcut to open Properties Window: Alt+F, then r.

The following tabbed menu will be displayed:

Graphic of the Document Properties box. The Description tab and content is displayed.

Description Tab:

File: Displays the name of the file.

Title: The title of the document.

Author: Your Office, Division, or OpDiv.

Subject: Brief identification of the subject of the document

Keywords: The keywords are associated with the document during a search and will effectively rank the document for relevance. The closer the search words match your keywords, the higher the document will be rated in the search. When using multiple keywords, separate them with a comma. Be sure to choose words that are relevant to the content.

Language: To add language click on the “Advanced” Tab. The following window will be displayed. Under “Reading Options” use the Language dropdown menu to select the appropriate language. The following window will be displayed. Under “Reading Options” use the Language dropdown menu to select the appropriate language.

Graphic of the Document Properties box. The Advanced tab and content is displayed. A callout box is pointing the the Language setting.

C.  Remove Hidden Content and Comments:

During the review process hidden content and comments are sometimes added to PDF documents. These items must be removed prior to posting the PDF to the web. To remove these items:

  1. Click on “Document” found in the “Menu” bar
  2. Select “Examine Document
display Examine Document menu

A window displaying all hidden data and comments in the document will be displayed.

  1. Uncheck Metadata and Bookmarks
  2. Click Remove All Items
Examine Document options

D.  Bookmarks:

Bookmarks are a collection of direct links to content within the document.They provide users with a means of navigating the document. Any PDF document over 9 pages must have bookmarks included.

Bookmarks may be displayed by clicking on the bookmark icon.

Graphic of a screen shot showing the Bookmarks pane. A callout box points to the x used to close the bookmark pane. A second callout box points to the Bookmark icon used to open the bookmark pane.

 E.  Hyperlinks in PDF Documents

Active hyperlinks set in Word will transfer as active links in the PDF. Hyperlinks must be tested to ensure the link is not broken and that the link is going to the intended web page.

If hyperlinks are not active or need to be changed, follow the instructions below.

To insert a hyperlink into a PDF document:

  1. Select the “Link Tool” found in the “Advanced Editing” tool bar.

Graphic of the tool bars. On the Advanced Editing tool bar the Hyperlink icon is selected.

  1. A set of “cross hairs”, which resembles a “+” sign, will be displayed in the window. Use these cross hairs as your cursor to highlight the text to be linked.

The Create Link Dialog box will be displayed.

Graphic of the Create Link dialogue box.

  1. Select “Open a web page” in the “Link Action” section of the dialog box.
  2. Click the “Next” button.
  3. Another dialog box will be displayed requesting the link.
  4. Enter the link. (It is strongly suggested that you copy and paste the hyperlink directly from the Internet page to avoid making mistakes when typing the URL manually.
  5. Click “OK”.

Graphic of the Edit URL dialogue window.

F.   All documents must have accessibility tags

Accessibility tags are critical for assistive technology to “read” a document.

Many times these tags convert over from the Microsoft document into PDF. However, do not assume that they will automatically do so.

To check for accessibility tags, view the document properties:

  1. Click on File, then Properties.

Graphic of the File pull down list from the Menu bar. Properties is highlighted. Shortcut to open Properties Window: Alt+F, then r.

If the document has accessibility tags they will be displayed under the Description Tab. Tagged PDF: Yes

Graphic of the Document Properties dialogue window. Under the Description tab, a callout box points to the Tagging Indicator displaying a

If “Yes” is displayed, click “OK” to close Document Properties.

If the Tagged PDF indicator is set to No, you must insert accessibility tags:

  1. Select Advanced from the Main Toolbar;
  2. Select “Accessibility”;
  3. Then select “Add Tags to Document

Graphic showing the Advanced option's pull down list. Accessibility is highlighted with an additional pull down list open. A callout box points to the Add Tags to Document option.

A wizard will add the needed accessibility tags to the document. Once a document has been tagged it must be checked with the accessibility reporting tool in Adobe Acrobat Professional.

G.   Run Accessibility Report

The accessibility report will provide information on most tagging problems.

To run an accessibility report:

  1. Click on “Advanced” located in the Main Toolbar;
  2. Then click on “Accessibility”;
  3. Then “Full Check

Graphic showing the Advanced option's pull down list. The Accessibility option is highlighted with an additional pull down list open with the Full check option highlighted.


The following default window will appear:

Graphic of the Accessiblity Full Check dialogue window. A callout box points to the Choose... button. This button is used to select the location to save the accessibility report. A second callout box points to the Start Checking button. This button starts running the report.

We encourage you to run both the "Adobe PDF" check and the "Section 508 web-based intranet and internet information and applications (1194.22)" check. See the "Checking Options" pull-down menu to make the selection. We also encourage the use of NetCentric's CommonLook Plugin. 

Make sure the report is saved to the correct folder on your computer.

  1. Click on “Choose” to select the location (C drive, My Documents, etc.)
  2. Make sure all the boxes are checked in “Checking Options”.
  3. Click on “Start Checking” which will run the report.

A window with the report summary will appear;

  1. Click “OK” to view the report.
  2. The report will be displayed in a split screen.
  3. The report will be on the left side of the screen; the PDF will be on the right side.
  4. The issues identified in the Detailed Report Section link to the object(s) in your PDF document that need(s) to be corrected.
  5. There are also Links in the Detailed Report Section which will guide you on how to repair any errors.

Screen shot of the Accessibility Report.

H.   Review Table Tags

Tables converted from Microsoft Word will need to have the associated Tags edited.

Tables are designated as “Table” in the Tags panel. The detail of the table tag may be displayed by clicking on the “+” to expand the lower level objects of the table.

Column/Row headers must be tagged to associate the data cells with the corresponding column/row heading cells. This will provide column/row heading information for screen readers.

The table should also be ordered so it can be interpreted from left to right, top to bottom order.

Screen shot showing the Tags Pane and the tags used when there is a table in your document.

Adobe has both on-line information and a downloadable documentation on the tagging of PDF documents.

I.   Reduce File Size

Reducing the size of a PDF file will make it download faster.

If the file size has already been reduced it will be indicated in the “Document Properties” window. In the lower right corner of the window “Fast Web Viewing” will show as “Yes”.

Graphic of the Document Properties dialogue window. Under the Description tab, a callout box points to the Fast Web View displaying a yes. This indicates that the file size is reduced.

To reduce the file size:

  1. Close Document Properties window.
  2. Select “Document” from the Main Toolbar in the Acrobat window;
  3. Then select “Reduce File Size”.
  4. In the drop down list, select “Acrobat 8.0 and later”.

Graphic of the Document pull down list. The Reduce File Size option is highlighted. Shortcut to this option: Alt+D, then z.

A dialog window for “Reduce File Size” will be displayed.

  1. Click on “OK”.
  2. You will then be asked to save the file.
  3. Save your file.

Graphic of the Reduce File Size dialogue window. Make compatible with 8.0 and later is selected.

You are now done! Your PDF is 508 compliant and ready to post.

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