What is PDF/UA? [Back to top]
PDF/Universal Accessibility (UA) is an international standard also known as ISO 14289 and was published in 2012. The standard is a set of requirements for achieving accessibility in PDFs and explains the use of tags to highlight significant elements, a tag structure to ensure a proper reading order, easy navigation, and the use of alternative text to describe non-text elements like images, etc.
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are made with web content in mind but are built on the same principles as the PDF/UA. The two standards have the same goal, which is to ensure accessibility, but they have a different focus in terms of content, and therefore the standards are similar, but with some differences as well.
The purpose of Accessibility Assistant is to provide the necessary guidance and support in order to build and generate accessible PDF/UA documents. If you have any questions about this topic, do not hesitate to reach out.
Disclaimer: Please note that when Accessibility Assistant is used to export accessible PDFs in older Office versions, the structure tags of the final document might be inconsistent in relation to documents exported in recent Office versions.
Which version of Accessibility Assistant am I using?
It is possible to see the version in the task pane in the bottom left area. It is small but can be read by zooming in or by selecting and copying and pasting the text to e.g. the Word document area or a Notepad.
Why is the task pane showing up blank?
The task pane showing up blank can be a consequence of not having WebView2 installed. See
It can also be the return of an old MS Office bug. See
Why is the icon black in my PDF exported with Accessibility Assistant? [Back to top]
Your icon has a transparent background, and some specific Office versions cannot handle transparency properly. This is not caused by Accessibility Assistant, but by the built-in export function in Office, which is also used by Accessibility Assistant. The issue is fixed in newer Office versions, and we always recommend using the latest. If upgrading Office is not an option, use an icon without transparency e.g. JPGs.
Why do I see yellow warnings in PAC? [Back to top]
If you check your document exported with Accessibility Assistant in PAC and you see yellow warnings, it does not necessarily mean your document is not accessible. As stated by PAC in the box above, the warnings will highlight elements you need to check to make sure PDF/UA requirements are met.
We are happy to review your document if errors/red icons are displayed in PAC, but Accessibility Assistant will not align with all yellow warnings pointed out by PAC.
I get an 'Export failed' message [Back to top]
You can experience documents Accessibility Assistance cannot export due to an error or something unexpected in the document. If you see the error above please click Yes - this will create a .oxf file helpful to us during troubleshooting. Forward the file to our support team along with the .docx document.
Accessibility Assistant cannot find Java on my PC [Back to top]
If Accessibility Assistant cannot find a compatible Java version on your PC, it is either because the Java version that you have installed does not meet Accessibility Assistant's requirements (Image 1) or because the directory that the Java files are located in does not match the location that the Java executables (including the installed version) are read from on your machine (Image 2).
In the first case, you probably have a Java version that is lower than 10.0, which is a prerequisite for Accessibility Assistant. Thus, installing a compatible version will fix the issue and enable Accessibility Assistant's export function. You can read more about Java requirements here.
In the second case, which is when the error message writes "found version was: None", it is possible that the directory that contains Java on your PC can't be retrieved automatically by the Accessibility Assistant. This error can be experienced even with versions that are higher than 10.0 and it is usually because the Path system value does not point to the Java 10+ location but an older version elsewhere on the machine.
Fix Java version not being found
There are two ways to fix the invalid Java installation (Java 10+ files are installed but it is not being read):
1) Modify the Path system variable as described here: https://www.java.com/en/download/help/path.html
2) It is possible to set a string value in the registry that instructs Accessibility Assistant to use the Java executables in a given location. This is especially practical if or if older versions of Java are needed as well for other programs to work. See how to below.
Accessibility Assistant registry key for default Java folder path
1. Click on the Windows start button and search for Registry Editor.
2. Navigate to Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SkabelonDesign\AccessibilityChecker.
If the AccessibilityChecker key doesn't exist, right-click on the SkabelonDesign key and create a new key that is called AccessibilityChecker. Then, click on the key, and in the white space to its right, right-click and create a String Value called DefaultJavaFolderPath. Double click on it and set its value to be the path where java.exe is located on your PC.
Please note the path includes the "\bin" folder at the end.
In the below example DefaultJavaFolderPath is C:\ProgramData\Java\jdk-17.0.1\bin.
In case you have a local machine installation, the abovementioned key should be placed in this path: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\SkabelonDesign\AccessibilityChecker. If you have a 64-bit version of Office, then it should be placed in Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\SkabelonDesign\AccessibilityChecker
For 32- bit Office:
For 64- bit Office: