• Media Type Adobe Acrobat PDF > Page Structure
  • State Active
  • Advisory No

Custom tags can be created by automated tools. These custom tags (custom roles) are mapped to standard PDF tags. For example, when converting from MS Word format to PDF, heading styles are given a tag name of Heading1, Heading2, etc. A role mapping must be created within the tags pane to map each of the headings to the proper PDF tag. The Heading1 tag must map to the H1 PDF tag in order to be identified as a heading to users of assistive technology.

Compliant Example

A custom role mapping for the tag name <Heading 1> to <H1> and <Heading
2> to <H2>.
// pseudo-code //
<Heading 1>
Worksheet 1
</Heading 1>
<Heading 2>
Math
</Heading 2>

Non-Compliant Example

No custom role mapping for the tag name <Heading1>.  The default mapping is likely
the <P> tag.
// pseudo-code //
<Heading 1>
Worksheet 1
</Heading 1>
<Heading 2>
Math
</Heading 2>

Ensure that all custom tag names are properly mapped to standard tags that accurately represent the structural function of the element. From the tags pane

  • Activate the context menu on the tag in question
  • Activate the Edit Role Map menu item
  • Verify from the list the correct role mapping between custom tag and standard tag.

Organization Standards

  • § 508-1194.22 Web Sites and Applications
    • (a) Text equivalent of non-text items
  • Section 508 and 255 (Revised 2017)
    • Chapter 3: Functional Performance Criteria
      • 302.1 Without Vision
  • WCAG 2.0 Level A
    • 1.3.1 Information and relationships conveyed through presentation
  • WCAG 2.1 Level A
    • 1.3.1 Info and Relationships

Other Mapped Standards

  • § 508-1194.21 Software Applications and Operating Systems
    • (d) Information about a user interface element must be textually available
  • § 508-1194.31 Functional performance criteria
    • (a) Ensure access for blind and visually impaired
  • BITV 2.0 (Priority I)
    • 1.3.1 Informationen und Beziehungen
  • HHS PDF 508 Checklist (2014)
    • 3.0 Accessibility Tagging and Reading Order
      • (3.5) If nonstandard/custom tags are used, have they been mapped correctly in the Document Roles dialogue box and verified as working via assistive technology testing: (e.g., JAWS, Window Eyes, NVDA, and Dragon)?
  • WCAG 1.0 Priority 2
    • 03.5 Use header elements appropriately
  • Severity6
    in range of 1 to 10
  • Noticeability4
    in range of 1 to 10
  • Tractability7
    in range of 1 to 10