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Aug 09

Editing a 508 Compliant PDF Can Cause a World of Pain

Thinking of Editing a 508 compliant pdf? Some might be thinking “You can edit a PDF?” Well, yes with Adobe Acrobat DC or other similar tools.  But editing can cause a world of problems with a previously tagged document.

Editing a 508 Compliant PDFediting a 508 compliant pdf

This is an example of a pdf that was already tagged for 508 compliance.  While some edits can be ok; fixing spelling mistakes, slight text changes and similar edits, others will cause a world of trouble.  Any edit that pushes content to another page will certainly cause a waterfall of errors.  Adding another bullet to the list will cause issues. And in this case even changing the font size on a few items will generate a litany of errors.

In this video Shawn Jordison, our Division Lead walks through what was a 508 compliant pdf that was edited to increase the font size. You will see all the errors this simple edit generated.  As you will see it took about 15 minutes.  To tag the original document took about 10 minutes. Typically with something like this we would start over (it’s just easier and quicker) but wanted to show you how simple changes can cause a world of errors.


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About The Author

John Mulvey is the Founder of Digital Echo and is an IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). He has over 20 years of experience leveraging technology to solve problems and 7 years working with organizations on creating accessible websites and documents to meet compliance standards. He is well versed with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There are many ways to approach accessibility solutions. While compliance standards are consistent, finding the right solution for a specific client requires an understanding of the organization, it’s people, processes and technology. John specializes in leveraging resources efficiently and applying solutions that meet the needs of several stakeholder groups within organizations. He makes seemingly complex concepts easy to understand and his personalized, independent approach puts clients first ensuring their needs are met and goals are achieved.