a11yTips — Turn purely decorative images in PDF documents…

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Turn purely decorative images in PDF documents into artifacts

no. 125

Make sure images that convey no information are turned into artifacts

Purely decorative images are images that, by definition, convey no information or meaningful content to a document. In PDF documents, artifacts are generally graphics objects or other markings that are not part of the authored content. Examples of artifacts include page header or footer information, lines or other graphics separating sections of the page, or decorative images. They are usually used to embellish a page, or simply serve a purpose related to the layout of the page. As such, they are irrelevant to anyone unable to see the screen and should be ignored by assistive technologies whenever possible. In HTML, such images can be assigned a null attribute value (alt=””) if they are embedded in the HTML layer, but are usually better off presented as part of the presentation layer, in CSS. To make purely decorative images invisible to screen readers in PDF documents, images (figures) need to be marked up as artifacts.

To do so, simply don’t provide any descriptive value to these images. Using the TouchUp Reading Order dialog box in Adobe Acrobat Pro, select the images that [...]

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