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Tips to avoid accessibility issues in PDF- based forms – Part I

One of the most difficult tasks in the development of accessible PDF forms is to get the screen reader read the data in proper order. Few tips, given below can help you avoid getting into trouble with screen readers:

  • First and foremost, set the accessibility mode in the SAP Configuration. This alone enables you to generate a tagged PDF which can be read by a screen reader. image
  • If the text is a abbreviation or it is non-text ( like an image or bar-code ), make sure that you set a Tool Tip and appropriately set the Screen reader preference  to “Tool Tip”. For example for a text field that has the text ABAP, the appropriate accessibility setting would be as shown in the figure below. image
  • Make sure that the currency and quantity fields (that is fields of type CURR and QUAN) are appropriately associated with a corresponding currency key (CUKY) or weight unit field (UNIT) in the interface. imageThis makes sure that the text 100.35 AUD written is not read as “100.35 A  U  D”, but as “100 Australian dollars and 35 cents”.
  • Make sure that the elements lying in the same row have the same Y value (in Size & Position). Otherwise the screen reader reads the text in the increasing order of their Y values. A simple way to achieve this is to select all the fields that lie with a single row and set their Y values together. image image The example shown above is for static text, the same procedure can be applied for other elements like text field.
  • Although, you may have set the correct Y values (following the steps given in point 3 above), the reading order can still be jeopardized if the order of the elements in the hierarchy isn’t proper. For example if the hierarchy is: imagethen screen reader would read Text2 first. If you want Text1 to be read first, the correct hierarchy should be: image
  • Set the appropriate sub-form role for all the sub-forms you have used in your form. image

Thanks to V S Shailesh for helping me write this blog.

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