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How to use the screenreader preview

The screenreader preview is a very useful tool to check your PDF document extensive. You get a visual representation which information of your document is available for a screenreader. In particular you can assess the semantical information of your document.

You will see at a glance:

  • is a meaningful document title available?
  • is the logical structure of your
    • heading hierarchy and paragraphs
    • lists and list continues
    • tables and table headers correctly implemented?
  • are internal links (for example table of contents) available?
  • do all external links and email addresses work?
  • are alternative texts for figures, formulas available?
  • do all form fields have a intelligible quickinfo?
  • are there representation errors of special characters?
  • do you recognize missing spaces between words?
  • are all language assignments correct?

Moreover you have the possibility to execute a text search.


See following chapters to get detailed information how to check the above mentioned issues.

Document title

The document title is shown on top in the screenreader preview.

Preview: Document title highlighted

Logical structure of headings and paragraphs

You can recognize headings by the blue font color and the numbers in the symbols of the structure elements. Check the correct hierarchy of your document structure.

Preview with some H1, H2 and P tags


Move the cursor on a structure element symbol, then the name of the structure element will be displayed.
Preview: Mouseover on Figure tag

Click here to find an overview of all symbols.

Logical structure of lists and list continues

Simple list with bullet points:

The correct structure of a list contains normally a list container ("L"), several list items ("LI"), which contain a label ("Lbl") and the list body ("LBody").

A "LBody" element can contain further block-level elements - in the example below each contains a paragraph.

Preview: Simple list highlighted

Multilevel lists:

In multilevel lists a list item can contain on or more additional list containers. This can be recognized through the nested structure.
The nesting begins always with a new list container ("L"), which is within the corresponding "LBody" element.

Preview: Multilevel list highlighted

Logical structure of tables and table headers

Headers assigned via attribute Scope

Just move the cursor on a row or column header (structure element "TH") and then you will get a green highlight in a row or column to check if the scope is correct. Below you see an example where the data cells belonging to column header "Max. Temperature" are marked in green color.

Preview: Simple table - Scope: Column highlighted

Headers assigned via Header IDs

Just move the cursor on a table data cell (or on a subordinated header cell) and then you will get a red highlight on the corresponding header cells which belong to the chosen cell.

Preview: Complex Table, Header IDs highlighted

Internal links

Internal links can be recognized through the two link symbols at the beginning and the end of the linked text.

Preview: Internal link highlighted

External links

External links can be recognized through the two link symbols at the beginning and the end of the linked text and they have additionally blue font color with underline.

Preview: External link highlighted


Just click the link to check its correct function.

Alternative texts

Alternative texts are displayed in grey boxes. At the beginning always the name of the structure element is mentioned.

Preview: Alternative text of a Figure highlighted

Quickinfo of form fields

The quickinfo is an additional help for users to fill out the form field.

Preview: Form - QuickInfo of Form field highlighted

Wrong (or missing) unicode mapping

Sometimes the unicode mapping of single characters is not correct - in the example below the quadratic bullet points were not mapped correctly.

Preview: Wrong unicode mapping


Check the correct unicode mapping with the tool Edit Unicode Mapping.

Missing spaces

Sometimes there is the problem of missing spaces between different words which can be easily identified in the preview.
Preview: Missing spaces in heading highlighted


Use the tool Insert Spaces to fix this issue.

Correct language assignments

Langguage changes are indicated with the corresponding flag symbols.

Preview: Language changes highlighted

Text search

Press the keys STRG+F to activate a text search. The dialog box "Find" will be opened.

Preview: Dialogue box: Find



Use the search terms "www", "http" and "@" to find external links and to check their function.