How to correct the heading structure for an accessible PDF in Word, InDesign, or Acrobat.
This article applies to: Web Accessibility
What You Need to Know About Headings
Headings allow screen reader users to read only the headings in order to get an overview of the content and to navigate directly to the part they want to read. Headings should follow a logical structure H1 – H6.
- Headings are the titles of each section in your document.
- Headings create an outline structure for your document.
- Every document must have a heading level 1, which is often the title of the document.
- Every subheading should use the next heading level in the sequence.
- Sibling headings must have identical heading levels.
- A document must not have subheadings which are at a higher or identical level to its parent.
- Headings can also act as Bookmarks.
H1: Links, Headings, Images, Oh My!
H2: Accessibility Standards
H4: Headings and Screen Readers
H4: How Headings Help Users with Cognitive Disabilities
H4: Alternative Text
H4: Charts and Graphs
Select your heading text.
On the Home tab, in the Styles group, select a heading style, for example, Heading 1 or Heading 2.
If you have the Acrobat tab with the PDF Maker:
- Select Preferences.
- Choose the Heading Levels to Convert.
- Select Save As.
- Select PDF.
- Under Options, select Convert Word Headings to Bookmarks.
Lynda.com tutorial on Understanding InDesign styles.
- Select the TouchUp Reading Order Tool.
- If the element is not tagged, use the mouse to select the entire element.
- Right click or Ctrl click on the element.
- Select Tag as Heading for the level you want. (Mac users may not see Tag as Heading, but will be able to select the appropriate heading level.)