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axesCheck Your PDF Accessibility Checker

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Is your PDF accessible according to the common standards PDF/UA and WCAG? Check quickly and easily now!

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What is axesCheck?

With axesCheck you can quickly and easily check PDF files for accessibility. axesCheck is like a web-based version of the PDF Accessibility Checker PAC and checks for PDF files whether they meet the machine-verifiable requirements of PDF/UA (according to the Matterhorn Protocol) and WCAG (A & AA). For a final assessment, however, further checks are required that only a human can perform - for example, whether the sequence of elements is correct, the tags correspond to the visually recognizable semantics, or alternative texts adequately reflect the core message of an image.

What is an accessible PDF?

To ensure that PDF content is accessible to people with disabilities or can be adapted for different usage situations (for example, for reading on smartphones), it must be available in accessible form. There are some basic technical requirements for accessible PDFs that you can easily check with ​axesCheck. For example, an accessible PDF contains an invisible structure layer on which all content-relevant elements are coded in the correct order in a machine-readable manner and important additional information is included for comprehension and targeted navigation.

Why is PDF accessibility important?

On the one hand, much essential information exists exclusively as PDF content. PDF is the most widely used file format worldwide for exchanging documents - be it reports, minutes, tickets or bank statements, for example. However, most PDFs available to date have massive barriers for people with disabilities or are inadequately equipped for current and future usage scenarios (mobile Internet, AI, Big Data, for example). Accessible PDFs provide a remedy here.

On the other hand, PDF accessibility is already required by law for many organizations. The laws are gradually being extended to other areas. The EU would like to play a pioneering role here, because digital inclusion enables all people to participate fully in the information society.

Many people don't know that PDFs actually have to be barrier-free. There are still misunderstandings, e.g. some people say that PDFs are not a website - but it is clear, and PDFs must be just as accessible. I would like to clarify that.

Michael Wahl,Head of the German Federal Monitoring Agency for Accessibility in Information Technology

How axes4 can help you

If your PDF is not accessible

We take care of creating accessible PDFs for you. For this purpose we offer our axesService: You send us your PDFs and we make them accessible in the shortest possible time - of course completely PDF/UA and WCAG compliant.
Try axesService

If you want to create accessible PDFs yourself

We have the right tools to help you create accessible PDFs efficiently and sustainably.

axesWord

With axesWord you can create fully PDF/UA and WCAG compliant PDFs from Microsoft Word with one click only.

axesPDF

With axesPDF you can find and fix PDF/UA & WCAG errors in PDFs in seconds.

PDF/UA - The ISO Standard for PDF Accessibility

axesCheck can be used to check all machine-verifiable test criteria of the DIN/ISO standard 14289 - known as PDF/UA. UA stands for Universal Access and guarantees the best possible user experience for end users of the most widely used document format in the world.

Which PDF/UA requirements is axesCheck evaluating?

Basic requirements

Are the basic rules according to the PDF specification adhered to?

Logical structure

Are there errors in the tag tree that make content inaccessible?

Metadata and settings

Does the PDF have settings that limit accessibility or is it missing important metadata that is required for smooth processing?

WCAG - The global guidelines for accessible web content

axesCheck makes it possible to quickly and easily check all machine-verifiable success criteria of the WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) Level A and AA for a PDF.

Which WCAG requirements is axesCheck evaluating?

1 Perceivable

Can all content-relevant elements be perceived? This includes requirements such as:

  • Are text alternatives available?
  • Is the contrast minimum met?
  • Is it possible for software to distinguish between content-relevant and decorative elements?
  • Is software able to access all content-relevant elements?

2 Operable

Are information, settings, and mechanisms available to enable navigation and interaction (for example, with form fields)? These include:

  • Is the title available?
  • Is the tab order set for interactive elements?

3 Understandable

Can users understand the content and user interface, even if they use voice output, for example? These include:

  • Are natural language defined for all elements?
  • Is there a Unicode equivalent for each character?

4 Robust

Are the basic rules according to the PDF specification adhered to?