These instructions assume you have opened the pdf in Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017, run its accessibility checker, and found this issue.
This issue is caused by elements within the pdf that require alternate text. Some examples incluse images, graphics, lines, shapes, boxes, and even tables. Basically any item on the page that is not regular text will require alternate text. To correct this issue, first determine if you have a source document for the pdf, such as a Microsoft word document. You will want to make as many corrections in the source document as possible. This way when you make updates to the document down the road, the issues wont re-appear and have to be corrected again. Follow the steps below for your case:
Correct issue in Source Document
For this example, a Microsoft Word 2016 document will be described. Other software will be similar.
Correcting the issue for Images and Shapes in the Source Document
- Open the source file and locate the element(s) that are failing.
- If you need to fix this issue for a table, you will need to fix it in the PDF as the table's alt text does not carry over when exported/printed. However, it is good practive to have the alt text in the source document as well. Follow the steps in "Correcting the issue for Tables in the Source Document" below to do this.
- For each element, right click and choose "Format Picture" or "Format Shape", whichever item shows at the bottom of the right-click menu. A menu will appear on the right side of the screen.
- Select the Layout & Properties icon
- Open the "Alt Text" dropdown and fill in both the Title and Description fields.
Title: Keep this short and sweet. Just the name of the image or shape.
Description: Provide more detailed information about the object in the image or the information about the shape. Best way to think of this is to close your eyes and imagine someone describing the image or shape to you so you can see it in your mind's eye.
- Once you have filled in both fields, Save the Word Document.
Correcting the issue for Tables in the Source Document
- If you have not done so, open the source file and locate the table to be corrected.
- If you click into the table, you will see an icon at the upper-left of the table. Right-click this icon.
- In the right-click menu, select "Table Properties". a popup will appear.
- Select the tab "Alt Text" and fill in both the title and description fields.
Title: Keep this short and sweet. Just the name of the table, what it is showing.
Description: Provide more detailed information about the data in the table.
- When you are done, click "OK"
- Save the Word Document.
Correct issue in the PDF using Adobe Acrobat
Assuming you have NO SOURCE FILE for this pdf and you must update the pdf directly, use these instructions. These instructions detail the process using Adobe Acrobat Prop 2017. Other Acrobat versions will be similar.
Correcting the issue for Images and Shapes in the PDF
- With the Accessibility Checker pane open, showing the list of errors, open the "Figures alternate text - Failed" error, exposing each figure that failed.
- For each, right click on it and select "Fix". A popup will appear.
- Type in the alternate text for that image or graphic.
NOTE: If the graphic provides no information, such as a divider line sitting between two pieces of text, you can select the checkbox "Decorative Figure" instead of adding text.
- Click "Save & Close".
- Save your PDF.
Correcting the issue for Tables in the PDF
As this is found as a different issue in Adobe Acrobat, the instructions for this are found in Accessibility - Documents - Correcting the Tables "Summary- Failed" issue