Skip to main content

Cornell University

Proper and Meaningful Title

How to set the title of a PDF document in Acrobat or Word.

This article applies to: Web Accessibility

On This Page

A Web-Accessible PDF document must have a clear, meaningful title at the beginning. The title briefly describes what the document is about. It helps readers quickly decide whether they want to read it.

First, make sure your document has a title. Then, fill in the Title field in Word or Acrobat. Enter the document’s title into the Title field. Often this will be the same as your heading level 1.

A meaningful title is not the filename. For example:
  • Filename: satire_912.pdf
  • Title: Satire in Modern Pop Culture



  1. Select the File menu.
  2. Under Properties, enter the Title.


  1. Select the File menu.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. On the Summary tab, enter the Title.


  1. Select File.

  2. Select Properties.

  3. On the Description tab, enter the Title.

  4. Select OK.

Troubleshooting the Title in Acrobat

If Acrobat is set to read the filename under its Initial View, then the Accessibility Checker will fail the Title check.

Acrobat accessibility checker fails the title check

How to Fix This Issue:

  1. Select File.
  2. Select Properties.
  3. Select the Initial View tab.
  4. Under the Window Options section, in the Show dropdown box, select Document Title (not File Name).  Document Title selected under Show in Acrobat Initial View
  5. Select OK.


To share feedback about this page or request support, log in with your NetID

At Cornell we value your privacy. To view
our university's privacy practices, including
information use and third parties, visit University Privacy.