Scanned Document [EGOVMON.PDF.08]

Why this maybe a Barrier

When a paper document is converted to a PDF document, the resulting PDF is often composed of a number of images, the scans of the original pages.

If such documents are not enhanced with text content (for instance by applying OCR) the content cannot be used by search engines or assistive technology such as screen readers, since there is no text content or document structure to process. That means that blind users can not access the content of the document. Moreover, vision impaired users will encounter problems because the text can not be copied to other applications for enlarging.

Any text information contained in a scanned PDF document is unavailable for assistive technologies and for efficient automatic processing. This barrier is not limited to scanned images, images from other sources will cause the same problem.

WCAG 1.0 Reference

3.1 “When an appropriate markup language exists, use markup rather than images to convey information. [Priority 2]”

WCAG 1.0 Checkpoint 3.1

WCAG 2.0 Reference

1.4.5 Images of Text “If the technologies being used can achieve the visual presentation, text is used to convey information rather than images of text except for the following: (Level AA)”

  • Customizable: The image of text can be visually customized to the user's requirements;
  • Essential: A particular presentation of text is essential to the information being conveyed.

WCAG 2.0 Success Criterion 1.4.5