F Generating Accessible PDF Output

An accessible PDF output is a structured document that includes a document title and the PDF tags. The paragraph, link, image, table, and list elements are tagged in accessible PDF documents.


Set the property for generating accessible PDF output at the report-level for specific reports or at the global level for all PDF outputs. See Configuring Accessible PDF Output for Reports.

Requirements and Limitations

Element Requirements Limitations

Format the text using heading styles such as heading1, heading2, and heading3.

Don’t justify text because screen readers might not correctly find the spaces between words when the line is justified.


Tables must have headers. The PDF/UA standard recommends adding the headers. Adobe Acrobat reports a table without header as an error.

If you add a table summary, the summary will be added as a table attribute in PDF documents. However, the PDF/UA format doesn't require a summary.

Don’t use a table for layout purpose. Whether a table is used as a data table or as a layout table, all tables are tagged as tables.

Don’t use colspan or rowspan. The PDF/UA format allows spans, but Acrobat reports tables with spans as an error (irregular table).


Add alternate text to every image.


Create bookmarks when you expect the output to contain more than 21 pages. The PDF/UA format doesn't require bookmarks, but Acrobat reports a large document without bookmarks as an error.

Add the document title. You can add a title in the template, or you can set the title using the pdf-document-title runtime parameter.

Header and footer

Use headers and footers only for providing the pagination information.

Don’t include any information apart from the page numbers in the header/footer section. The headers and footers are marked as "Artifacts" and these artifacts aren't read by the screen readers as per the ISO 14289 7.4 standard.

Static content NA

Don’t include a table, list, or link element in the static content. The entire static content area will be tagged as a single paragraph.

Graphics NA

Don’t use the Word Shape feature of RTF in the RTF template. Some of the Word Shape objects that are marked as artifacts instead of figures can’t be read by the screen readers.


Map the Symbol font to a TrueType font to avoid the usage of the Adobe core symbol font in the output.

Don’t use the Dingbat font because there is no equivalent TrueType font. The Adobe accessibility checker displays a warning message when you use fonts that don't have encoding parameters.

PDF/UA-1 (ISO 14289-1:2014) is a standard for universal accessibility. The PDF/UA format requires all the fonts used in the output to be embedded in the document. Hence, the PDF/UA formatted report output might look different from the original report and the file size of the PDF/UA formatted output might be more than the original report.

Configuring Accessible PDF Output for Reports

You can configure all reports or specific reports to generate accessible PDF output.

When you access BI Publisher in accessibility mode, all your PDF outputs automatically becomes accessible irrespective of the report properties.

To configure accessible PDF output for reports:
  1. To make the PDF output of a report accessible:
    1. Navigate to the report in the catalog.
    2. Click Edit to launch the Report Editor.
    3. Click Properties to open the Report Properties dialog.
    4. Click the Formatting tab, scroll down, and set the Make PDF output accessible property to true.
  2. To make the PDF outputs of all online reports and scheduled reports accessible:
    1. On the Administration page, under Runtime Configuration, select Properties.
    2. Set the Make PDF output accessible property to true.