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Accessibility in PDFs: Making Documents Inclusive for All

One of the key areas where accessibility plays a role is in the creation and dissemination of TTRPG materials. These materials, typically in the form of rulebooks, setting guides, and campaign modules, provide the foundation for players to engage in their tabletop adventures. However, it's essential to ensure that these materials are accessible to all potential players, regardless of their visual, auditory, or cognitive abilities.

"In the realm of digital content, accessibility is paramount".

This principle extends to PDFs, which are widely used for sharing and disseminating information. However, creating accessible PDFs requires careful consideration of certain elements.

1. Tagging: Tagging is the process of assigning structure to a PDF, making it easier for screen readers to navigate and interpret. Think of it as the foundation upon which accessibility is built. Adobe Acrobat Pro* is the most reliable tool for tagging PDFs, ensuring that they are compliant with accessibility standards.

2. Bookmarks: Bookmarks serve as navigational aids, allowing users to quickly jump to specific sections of a PDF. They should closely align with the table of contents (ToC) for seamless navigation. Bookmarks are particularly important for screen reader users, who rely on them to efficiently explore the document.

3. Alt Text: Alt text describes images and other non-text elements in a PDF. It serves as a visual alternative for users who cannot see the images, providing context and understanding. Writing concise and descriptive alt text is crucial for making PDFs accessible to a wider audience.

*While Adobe Acrobat Pro is the industry standard for tagging and alt text, Affinity recently introduced support for these features. This is a significant step forward in making PDF creation more accessible.

Creating Accessible PDFs: A Quick Recap

  1. Employ logical headers and organize content in a structured manner.

  2. Utilize Adobe Acrobat Pro for tagging, or run Affinity PDFs through Acrobat Pro for post-processing.

  3. Craft clear and concise alt text for images and non-text elements.

Remember, accessibility is not just about compliance; it's about inclusivity. By creating accessible PDFs, you're opening up your content to a wider range of users, ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to engage with and benefit from your digital materials.

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