Document Properties


The accessibility of a PDF file can be further enhanced when an author adds certain document properties to a PDF file. To view a PDF‘s document properties within Adobe Reader, a user must go to the File menu and choose the “Properties…” option. A Document Properties window opens with four tabs: Description, Security, Fonts, and Advanced.

These document properties can be carried over from authoring applications, or added to a PDF by use of Adobe Acrobat Professional. It is recommended that the following options be added to improve the accessibility of a PDF document.

Description Tab
Description – Property options recommended for this tab:
Title – Insert a meaningful title
Author – Author or organization may be added for branding
Subject – Describe what the document is about
Keywords – Add keywords for the document to improve search capability

Security Tab
Document Restrictions Summary – Property options recommended for this tab:
Content Copying for Accessibility – Allowed

Initial View Tab
Layout and Magnification – Property options recommended for this tab:
Navigation tab – Bookmarks Panel and Page
Page layout – Default
Magnification – Default
Open to page – 1

Window Options – Property options recommended for this tab:
Show – Document Title

Benefits to People with Disabilities

With these recommended properties added to the document, disabled individuals, by means of their assitive technology, can quickly discern what the document is about and related to because of the meaningful title and metadata added to the document. Setting the Initial View of the document to the “Bookmarks Panel and Page” option, saves them from searching how to open the Bookmarks panel and easily navigate into it and throughout the document.

Benefits to Everyone

The document properties benefit everyone, in that the PDF document becomes more easily searched by Internet search engines and easily found locally on a computer or network with the use of keywords and related metadata.

Benefits to Developers

The benefits to developers may include adding recognition to a document’s authors and institution, controlling what content can be copyed and extracted, and control of how the document is displayed upon opening.

Related Accessibility Requirements

Section 508

Illinois Information Technology Accessibility Standards

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0