PDF accessibility and PDF standards

This page collects the information about the development of the methods to create PDF documents with TeX according to PDF/UA accessibility standards, and other emerging PDF standards.

If you are a developer: grants available

If you are a developer working on accessibility-related issues, we welcome your application for a grant (we don't have vast resources, but hopefully enough to be useful). Please submit the application at the TUG development fund, and mention accessbility in the project description.

TeX VPAT statement

A TeX Accessibility Conformance Report can be found in the package tex-vpat. Currently it covers only the Te XLive distribution; we invite developers to add statements for other distributions and packages.

TUG working group

CTAN packages

  1. CTAN topic accessible
  2. tagpdf - Experimenting with tagging
  3. pdfx - PDF/X-1a and PDF/A-1b support for pdfTeX
  4. pdfcomment - A user-friendly interface to pdf annotations
  5. glossaries-accsupp - Acessibility support for glossaries
  6. axessibility - Accessibility for formulas in PDF files
  7. accsupp - Better accessibility support for PDF files

Selected papers

  1. TUGboat topic accessibility—ongoing collection, currently about a dozen articles. TUGboat submissions are welcome.
  2. Fischer, Ulrike. On the road to Tagged PDF: About StructElem, Marked Content, PDF/A and Squeezed Ba¨rs. TUGboat 42:2, 2021.
  3. Papasalouros, Andreas, and Tsolomitis, Antonis. latex2nemeth package on CTAN.)
  4. Veytsman, Boris, and Harcombe, Kieran. Creating a VPAT statement for TeX Live. TUGboat 42:2, 2021.
  5. Fischer, Ulrike. Creating accessible pdfs with LaTeX. TUGboat 41:1, 2020.
  6. Moore, Ross. Semantic Enrichment of Mathematics via `tooltips', preprint, 2015, tug.org/preprints/moore-mathsem-cicm2015-v7.pdf (see also the full paper in CICM 2015 Proceedings and supporting materials)
  7. Moore, Ross. Tagged Mathematics in PDFs for Accessibility and other purposes, in CICM-WS-WiP 2013, Workshops and Work in Progress at CICM, CEUR Workshops Proceedings. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1010/paper-01.pdf.
  8. Moore, Ross R. PDF/A-3u as an archival format for Accessible mathematics, in S.M. Watt et al. (Eds.): CICM 2014, LNAI 8543, pp. 184–199, 2014. https://arxiv.org/abs/1406.6126.
  9. Kohlhase, M. STEX: Semantic Markup in TEX/LATEX. Documentation of the STEX packages. https://trac.kwarc.info/sTeX/export/2430/trunk/sty/stex.pdf
  10. Moore, Ross R. Ongoing efforts to generate ``tagged PDF'' using pdfTeX, TUGboat, 30:2, 170--175, 2009, tug.org/TUGboat/tb30-2/tb95moore.pdf.
    Also: Moore, Ross R.; Ongoing efforts to generate “tagged PDF” using pdfTEX, in DML 2009, Towards a digital Mathematics Library, Proceedings, Petr Sojka (editor), Muni Press, Masaryk University, 2009. ISBN 978-80-20-4781-5.
  11. Kohlhase, M. Using LATEX as a Semantic Markup Format in Mathematics in Computer Science (2:2) pp. 279–304. Birkhäuser (2008).
  12. Groza, T., Handschuh S., Möller, K., Decker, S. SALT — semantically annotated LATEX for scientific publications. ESWC, number 4519 pp. 518–532. Springer (2007).


  1. Sandro Coriasco, Anna Capieto, An automated method based on LaTeX for the realization of accessible PDF documents containing formulae. TUG'18. Video of the talk. Slides. Voiceover. NVDA & JAWS.
  2. Ross Moore, Authoring accessible Tagged PDF documents using LaTeX. TUG'18. Video.
  3. Ross Moore, Semantic enrichment of mathematics using `active comments' TUG'15. http://river-valley.zeeba.tv/semantic-enrichment-of-mathematics-using-%E2%80%98active-comments%E2%80%99/.
  4. Ross Moore, `Fake spaces' with pdftex — best of both worlds, TUG'14. http://river-valley.zeeba.tv/%E2%80%9Cfake-spaces%E2%80%9D-with-pdftex%E2%80%94best-of-both-worlds/.
  5. Ross Moore, Further advances toward Tagged pdf for mathematics, TUG'11. http://river-valley.zeeba.tv/further-advances-toward-tagged-pdf-for-mathematics/.
  6. Ross Moore, TeX + MathML for Tagged PDF, the next frontier in mathematical typesetting, TUG'10. http://river-valley.zeeba.tv/tex-mathml-for-tagged-pdf-the-next-frontier-in-mathematical-typesetting/.
  7. Ross Moore, Towards Tagged PDF, TUG'09. http://river-valley.zeeba.tv/towards-tagged-pdf/.
  8. Talks and discussions at TUG 2019 (Palo Alto, USA).

PDF standards

  1. Adobe Systems Inc.; PDF Reference 1.7, November 2006. http://www.adobe.com/devnet/pdf/pdf_reference.html.
  2. Dublin Core Metadata Element Set, Version 1.1, October 2010 http://dublincore.org/documents/dces/
  3. 4th International PDF/A Conference Proceedings, October 2010. http://www.pdfa.org/publication/4th-international-pdfa-conference-pdfa-forever/
  4. Olaf Drümmer and Bettina Chang. PDF/UA in a Nutshell, August 2013. http://www.pdfa.org/publication/pdfua-in-a-nutshell/
  5. PDF Association. Official PDF Flyer, December 2013. http://www.pdfa.org/publication/official-pdf-flyer-english/
  6. The Matterhorn Protocol 1.02. PDF/UA Conformance Testing Model, April 2014/ http://www.pdfa.org/publication/the-matterhorn-protocol-1/

ISO standards

  1. ISO 19005-1:2005; Document Management — Electronic document file format for long term preservation — Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1); Technical Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2 (Sept. 2005). Revisions via Corrigenda: ISO 19005-1:2005/Cor 1:2007 (March 2007); ISO 19005-1:2005/Cor 2:2011 (Dec. 2011).
  2. ISO 19005-2:2011; Document Management — Electronic document file format for long term preservation — Part 2: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/A-2); Technical Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2 (June 2011). http://www.iso.org/iso/catalogue_detail?csnumber=50655.
  3. ISO 19005-3:2012; Document Management — Electronic document file format for long term preservation — Part 3: Use of ISO 32000-1 with support for embedded files (PDF/A-3); Technical Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2 (October 2012).
  4. ISO 32000-1:2008; Document management — Portable document format (PDF 1.7); Technical Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2 (July 2008). Also available as [1].
  5. ISO 32000-2-20140220; Document management — Portable document format — Part 2: PDF 2.0; Technical Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2, in draft form (Feb. 2014).
  6. ISO 24517-1:2008; Document Management — Engineering document format using PDF — Part 1: Use of PDF 1.6 (PDF/E-1); Technical Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2 (May 2008).
  7. ISO 14289-1:2012; Document management applications — Electronic document file format enhancement for accessibility — Part 1: Use of ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1); Technical Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2 (July 2012). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=54564.
    Revised as ISO 14289-1:2014 (December 2014): http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=64599.
  8. PDF/UA Technical Implementation Guide: Understanding ISO 14289-1 (PDF/UA-1). AIIM Global Community of Information Professionals. http://www.aiim.org/Re search-and-Publications/standards/committees/PDFUA/Technical-Implementation -Guide.
  9. ISO 16612-2:2010; Graphic technology — Variable data exchange — Part 2: Using PDF/X-4 and PDF/X-5 (PDF/VT-1 and PDF/VT-2). Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (December 2005). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm? csnumber=38013.
  10. ISO 15930-1:2001; Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 1: Complete exchange using CMYK data (PDF/X-1 and PDF/X-1a). Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (December 2001). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=29061.
  11. ISO 15930-3:2002; Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 3: Complete exchange suitable for colour-managed workflows (PDF/X-3). Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (September 2002). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=34941.
  12. ISO 15930-4:2003; Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 4: Complete exchange of CMYK and spot colour printing data using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-1a). Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (December 2003). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=39938.
  13. ISO 15930-6:2003; Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 6: Complete exchange of printing data suitable for colour-managed workflows using PDF 1.4 (PDF/X-3). Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (December 2003). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=39940.
  14. ISO 15930-7:2010; Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 7: Complete exchange of printing data (PDF/X-4) and partial exchange of printing data with external profile reference (PDF/X-4p) using PDF 1.6. Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (July 2010). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=55843.
  15. ISO 15930-8:2010; Graphic technology — Prepress digital data exchange — Use of PDF — Part 8: Partial exchange of printing data using PDF 1.6 (PDF/X-5). Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (July 2010). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=55844. Revision via Corrigendum: ISO 15930-8:2010/Cor 1:2011 (August 2011); http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=60210.
  16. ISO 16684-1:2012; Graphic technology — Extensible metadata platform (XMP) specification — Part 1: Data model, serialization and core properties. Technical Committee ISO/TC 130 (February 2012). http://www.iso.org/iso/home/store/catalogue_tc/catalogue_detail.htm?csnumber=57421.

$Date: 2022/10/02 21:46:38 $;
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