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Make PDFs that work better with assistive technologies using Affinity Publisher 2

Affinity Publisher 2.3’s new Tags Panel allows you to describe images in a publication to improve the reading experience for people who use screen readers.

It’s super easy to add descriptions, often called alt text, to images in Affinity Publisher 2. In fact, you may not even have to type anything.

If an image contains XMP metadata—perhaps supplied by its creator or added during your workflow—you can simply tell Affinity to use the embedded title, description or heading as the image’s alt text.

When an image’s metadata isn’t quite what you want, or if there isn’t any, you can provide custom alt text.

If an image's metadata is unsuitable as alt text, select Custom and type your own.

Get a heads-up from Preflight

Affinity Publisher 2 can alert you when alt text has not been specified. You’ll need to enable this by editing your preflight profile on the Preflight Panel.

You can tell Affinity to inform you about any non-decorative images in a document that do not have alt text.

In the Alt Text category, choose the warning level and the kinds of content to be checked: placed documents, placed images, and vectors.

Exporting with alt text

After tagging your document’s images, there’s just one more thing to do. When you export a PDF, ensure the Tagged PDF setting is selected. It’s preselected for Affinity Publisher 2’s ‘digital - small size’, ‘digital - high quality’, and ‘for export’ presets.

There’s more to come

The Tags Panel in Affinity Publisher 2.3 is just the start of a series of improvements we’re making to PDF accessibility. Upcoming updates will provide support for reading order, heading tags and other document structure tools that will further enhance your PDFs.

To try out these features at the earliest opportunity, sign up for the Affinity Beta Software Program.