Tag Properties

On this page:  All Tags I Tables I Lists I Links I Forms I Artifacts I Next Pages

All Tags:

All Tags have these options in the Properties Panel:

  1. ID – Assign an ID to tags.  Table header cells (<TH>) need to have IDs in order to link them to their data cells.  When a cell is tagged as a <TH>, CommonLook automatically generates a unique ID for that cell.  As per PDF/UA, <Note> tags need to have IDs as well.  Again, CommonLook will automatically assign them, using the Fix Wizard, if needed.
  2. Type – This field shows what kind of tag has been selected.  Tag type may be changed using the drop-down menu.
  3. Has Title checkbox (may also be applied to Has alt text, Has actual text, and Has expansion text) – This checkbox sets a flag in the PDF to indicate that there’s a Title (or Alt, Actual, or Expansion text) for that tag.  If there’s a Title (or other option) typed into the field below the checkbox and the checkbox is then unchecked, the Title (or other) text will be removed.
  4. Title – A seldom used option but available for PDF/UA which states that when heading tags are used with major sections in a document, then those heading tags should have a title corresponding with that section (section 1, 2, etc.).
  5. Has Alt Text checkbox – Refer to #3
  6. Alt Text – The text field in which to provide Alt. Text if needed.
  7. Has actual text checkbox – Refer to #3
  8. Actual text – The text field in which to provide Actual Text if needed.
  9. Has Expansion text – Refer to #3
  10. Expansion text – The text field in which to provide Expansion Text if needed.
  11. Has Language checkbox – This checkbox is automatically checked when the language of a tag is changed (the next item in this list).  Note:  The language can be set once for the document and does not need to be specified on a per tag basis.  This option is to change the language for the particular tag selected (and its children, etc.), separate from the language of the document.  (For example, the document is in English but then a portion is in Spanish.  The language for a paragraph in Spanish would be set here.)
  12. Language drop-down menu – Choose the appropriate language for the tag.  CommonLook supports all languages supported by PDF.
  13. Country – In addition to setting the language for a particular section of the document, the country may be set as well.  While this is not required, if the speech engine in the screen reader supports different accents of the same language, then this may be helpful.

Note:  In addition to the properties listed above, certain tags have other properties options as well.  Those are listed below.

Tip:  When adding a Title, Alt. text, etc., to a tag, enter the information in the field and then press the Tab key on the keyboard.  The “Has (whatever)” checkbox will be checked automatically.

The Table Tag

The Table Tag also provides a checkbox and text field for a Table Summary.  Enter a Table Summary in the field, if needed.

Table Header Cells

Table Header Cells <TH> also include the following options:

  1. Headers – The IDs for the column and/or row headers that the selected <TH> has been linked to will be listed in this field.
  2. Row Span – Set the numbers of rows that this <TH> should span.
  3. Column Span – Set the numbers of columns that this <TH> should span.
  4. Has Scope checkbox – Like the “Has title” or other “Has” checkboxes mentioned previously.
  5. Scope – Set the scope as needed for the cell (Column, Row, Both, or None).

Table Data Cells

Table Data Cells <TD> also include the following options:

  1. Row Span
  2. Column Span

List Tags

List Tags also include a dropdown menu for the List Numbering Attribute:

  1. None
  2. Disc
  3. Circle
  4. Square
  5. Decimal
  6. UpperRoman
  7. LowerRoman
  8. UpperAlpha
  9. LowerAlpha
Note:  If the bullet is not any of these options (Disc, Circle, or Square) then leave the numbering attribute at “None.”  Also, for PDF/UA, list numbering only needs to be used for ordered lists.

Link Annotations

Link Annotations also contain the following:

  1. Hidden Key checkbox – This is used to show that the annotation is hidden in the Physical View.  PDF/UA checkpoints for annotations are only applicable if the annotation is NOT hidden.
  2. Has contents checkbox – Similar to the Has Title checkbox referred to earlier in this guide.
  3. Contents text field – The Contents for a Link Annotation is similar to Alt Text for a figure or a tool tip for a form.  Annotations other than Form Annotations should have Contents to help identify what the annotation is doing, where the link target is, etc.
  4. Sub type text field – To specify the annotation type.  The correct type for a link is Link.  (The type for a Form Annotation is a Widget and the type for other annotations should be Annot.)
  5. Is map checkbox – This should be checked for server side image maps (very rarely used in PDF).
  6. Target text field – The Link target whether it is a URL, link to an email address, or to a “local link” within the document itself.

Form Tags

Form Tags also include the following options:

  1. Has description checkbox – This concept has been applied in other areas such as Has Title.  For information on what the Description is, see the next list item.
  2. Description text field – To be used on non-interactive (flattened) form fields.  When a form is flattened, it is filled out in some other format and then converted to PDF but is no longer fillable in PDF.  The Description is what would have been the tooltip if the form was fillable in PDF format.
  3. Role dropdown menu – For a flattened form.  The dropdown menu has options for what the form field used to be in its fillable state.  The options are as follows:
  4. Radio button
  5. Checkbox
  6. Push button (a “Submit” button, for example)
  7. Text-value field – also known as a text field
  8. None – the role was not specified.

In addition, if the Role was Radio button or Checkboxes, then the Checked dropdown menu becomes available with these options:

  1. On
  2. Off
  3. Neutral – On or Off is not specified.

Form Annotations

A Form Annotation Properties Panel contains the following:

  1. Hidden Key checkbox – This is the same as for Link, to show that the annotation is hidden in the Physical View.  For more details see the explanation in the section on Link Annotations above.
  2. Has contents checkbox – Similar to the Has Title checkbox referred to earlier in this guide.
  3. Contents text field – This field is available as an option due to wording in the PDF specifications.  However, Form Annotations should have Tooltips (see below) as opposed to Contents.
  4. Sub type text field – To specify the annotation type.  The correct type for a form is Widget.  (The type for a link is Link and the type for other annotations should be Annot.)
  5. Has field name checkbox – This option is to mark whether or not there is a form field name (for example radio button 1, text field 3, etc.)
  6. Field name text field – The field to input the name of the Form Annotation.
  7. Field type text field – For forms that are not flattened, this text field is used to specify the type of annotation being used (radio button, checkbox, text field, etc.).
  8. Has tooltip checkbox – This checkbox specifies that a tooltip is present.  Because PDF specifications require tooltips on Form Annotations, this checkbox could be checked and then the tooltip field (see below) be left empty for a Form Annotation that should not have anything read by a screen reader.
  9. Tooltip text field – This field is where tooltips may be manually entered.  Tooltips are needed so that when a screen reader is in “form filling mode” the user is told what the question is that is being asked on the form.


Artifacts have a unique set of properties as outline here.

  1. Type – Used to specify the particular kind of Artifact.  Options are:
    1. Pagination – Used for page headers, footers, and watermarks.
    2. Page – Used for production aids such as cut marks and color bars.
    3. Layout – For example, all of the blank spaces used for formatting in a document.
    4. Background – An image, for example, which is only being used for decoration.
  2. Subtype – If the Artifact type is Pagination then this field needs to be set to Header, Footer, or Watermark.
  3. Attached – If the Artifact type is Pagination, then this field is used to state the location on the page in which the artifact is placed.  Options are All, Top, Bottom, Left, and Right.  This information may be helpful in repurposing the document.
  4. Page number – Shows the page in the Physical View on which the artifacted content is located.