tracker issue : CF-3734792

select a category, or use search below
(searches all categories and all time range)

PDFs created by cfhtmltopdf are not accessible/tagged

| View in Tracker

Status/Resolution/Reason: Closed/Fixed/

Reporter/Name(from Bugbase): Jeff Caldwell / Jeff Caldwell (Jeff Caldwell)

Created: 04/01/2014

Components: Document Management, PDF generation

Versions: 11.0

Failure Type: Enhancement Request

Found In Build/Fixed In Build: PublicBeta /

Priority/Frequency: Major / All users will encounter

Locale/System: English / Windows 7 SP1 64-bit

Vote Count: 3

Listed in the version Issues Fixed doc
Problem Description:
The US Federal Government requires that any PDF that will be posted on a government website must be an accessible document, according to Section 508 guidelines. For most agencies, this means the document must be able to pass Adobe's own accessibility check, which is part of the Adobe Acrobat tools. Many authoring tools will automatically tag PDFs they create with proper structure (headings, paragraphs, tables) and meta-data (alt text from images, etc.). Certainly, that should be an easy thing to do when generating from well-formed HTML. Unfortunately, the PDF engine in CF11 and all prior versions produce documents with no tags and retain no meta-data from the source. As a result, there is an enormous amount of manual tweaking of the files that has to happen before they can be posted on a government website. This removes a lot of the value of being able to produce PDFs on the fly for government customers and, in many cases, producing the PDF from other offline tools (like Microsoft Office) ends up being the better option.
Steps to Reproduce:
1. Produce a PDF using any version of ColdFusion
2. Run the PDF through Adobe Acrobat accessibility checker
3. View the resulting accessibility report and recommendations
Actual Result:
All PDFs created by ColdFusion are not tagged and not accessible

Expected Result:
The PDF creation engine should retain structure and meta-data from the source and create a tagged document with that information.

Any Workarounds:
Only workarounds are to manually add the tags and structure to the document using Adobe Acrobat tools. If you don't have a full install of Adobe Acrobat, there are no workarounds that I know of.

----------------------------- Additional Watson Details -----------------------------

Watson Bug ID:	3734792

External Customer Info:
External Company:  
External Customer Name: jeff.c
External Customer Email:  
External Test Config: My Hardware and Environment details:

ColdFusion 10 and ColdFusion 11 Splendor on Microsoft Windows 7, installed as standalone server.


  1. April 02, 2014 00:00:00: 1_PDFtest-AccessibilityReport.pdf


In the attached PDFtest-AccessibilityReport.pdf, note the "Summary" and "Hints for Repair" sections after the detail which explain the deficiencies of the file and what needs to happen.
Comment by External U.
12905 | April 01, 2014 05:32:11 PM GMT
This is a must have for government facilities using ColdFusion and just makes good business sense.
Vote by External U.
12912 | April 01, 2014 06:42:50 PM GMT
Particularly for USGov customers -- but, really for everyone -- this is a must-have and way overdue from Adobe. Please implement.
Vote by External U.
12913 | April 01, 2014 09:11:05 PM GMT
Yeah, makes sense to have this. -- Adam
Vote by External U.
12914 | April 02, 2014 05:41:40 AM GMT
This is not fixed in CF11 Update 3 (11,0,03,291742). Repro: <cfhtmltopdf source="" destination="#expandPath('./mypdf.pdf')#" /> Then open mypdf.pdf in Adobe Acrobat and run "Advanced > Accessibility > Full Check". Then see the Summary section, in the generated mypdf_AdobePDF.html, says: ---------------------- The checker found problems which may prevent the document from being fully accessible. This document is not tagged; the reading order of the contents may be incorrect. (How to Add Tags) None of the images in this document that need alternate text have it. (How to Add Alternate Text) All of the text in this document lacks a language specification. (How to Add Language Attributes) ---------------------- Thanks!, -Aaron
Comment by External U.
12906 | November 07, 2014 02:45:14 AM GMT
We have logged a bug with Acrobat team. Once the issue is solved we will incorporate the changes. (Comment added from ex-user id:bukkittu)
Comment by Adobe D.
12907 | November 17, 2014 02:50:53 AM GMT
PDF tagging is working. To get the alternate text working, the image width and height should be considerably large so that the text is visible. Also, when alt attribute is set for img tag, the Text-to-Speech feature of Acrobat reads out the alt text correctly. However, when we run accessibility check, Alternate Text test is failing. We have escalated this issue to Acrobat team. (Comment added from ex-user id:bukkittu)
Comment by Adobe D.
12908 | November 17, 2014 06:25:54 AM GMT
There are two parts of this bug. PDfs generated are not tagged - this issue is fixed as part of upcoming update of ColdFusion 11. PDFs generated are not completely accessible - We will track this bug separately bug #CF-3864467
Comment by Nimit S.
12909 | December 09, 2014 12:02:38 AM GMT
Hi Nimit, Thank you for filing #CF-3864467. It is currently hidden. Could it please be made visible so we can vote/track? Thanks!, -Aaron
Comment by External U.
12910 | December 09, 2014 12:32:24 AM GMT
Thanks Aaron. I forgot to make it external. It is marked as external now.
Comment by Nimit S.
12911 | December 09, 2014 12:54:05 AM GMT
This issue is flagged as 'fixed' but properly formatted html w/ alternative text still fails. I found 3 different tickets: - Withdrawn duplicate of this ticket CF-3734792 - Withdrawn 3rd Party - Withdrawn duplicate of CF-3910367 Systems are running CF 11 Update 15 and PDF generation still fails the Adobe Accessibility checker. How is ticket flagged as 'fixed'?
Comment by Jason D.
29936 | November 15, 2018 01:00:51 PM GMT