Checking for text in the text layer

Overview

Many times documents are created by scanning. Instead of saving in the OCR or text setting, they are saved as images.

Saving as an image to create a PDF does not create any text to be read by assistive devices – it is just a picture of shapes that resemble a text font.

Strengths

This quick check evaluates the document to see if it includes text. It is meant to rule out that the document has been scanned as an image.

Step 1: Place cursor in the text area of the document

Procedure

Open document (this test done in Acrobat Pro 9)

What to look for: Does the default cursor turn into the “I-bar”. The “I-bar” cursor indicates the presence of text.

No change in the cursor, or if the cursor changes to the “crosshairs” cursor, indicates that the text area is an object and not text.

Screenshot

Screen shot of Place cursor in the text area of the document

Step 2: Try to highlight the text

Procedure

Open document (this test done in Acrobat Pro 9

Mouse: While holding down the left mouse button, drag across the text area to see if you can highlight the text.
Keyboard: Place cursor at the begining of a line. Hold down the shift key and use the arrow keys to select text.

What to look for: Does the text area highlight when you select it.

Inability to highlight the text or if the cursor changes to the “crosshairs” cursor, indicates that the text area is an object and not text.

Screenshot

Screen shot of Try to highlight the text

Step 3: Run Accessibility Quick Check

Procedure

If a document is a scanned image, the Accessibility Quick Check will report it.

1. Open Document (the test done with Acrobat Pro 9)
2. Under the ADVANCED menu item, select ACCESSIBILITY, then select QUICK CHECK

What to look for:
If the document is a scanned image the results will start with “The document appears to contain no text.”

Screenshot

Screen shot of Run Accessibility Quick Check

Rules Evaluated with this Technique

Rules evaluated with Adobe Acrobat Pro 9.0
Test
Type
Description
Manual

All text in the physical view must also be in the content view