Formulas must have appropriate alternate text

Rule ID: alt-text-formula
Ruleset: axe-pdf 2.0
User Impact: Critical
Guidelines: WCAG 2.1 (A), WCAG 2.0 (A), PDF/UA

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Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact


Disabilities Affected

  • Blind
  • Deafblind
  • Mobility


  • WCAG 2.1 (A)
  • WCAG 2.0 (A)
  • PDF/UA

WCAG Success Criteria [WCAG 2.1 (A)]

  • 1.1.1: MUST: Non-text Content

WCAG Success Criteria [WCAG 2.0 (A)]

  • 1.1.1: MUST: Non-text Content

    How to Fix the Problem

    In Adobe Acrobat Pro:

    1. Open the Tags Pane.
    2. Right-click the Formula tag.
    3. Select Properties.
    4. In the Tag tab, write the appropriate alternate text for the formula within the Alternate Text field.

    Why it Matters

    Currently, Formula tags are not properly voiced by screen readers and function in the same capacity as Figure tags. Therefore, they require alternate text.

    Rule Description

    Formula tags require an alternate text entry.

    The Algorithm (in simple terms)

    Formulas in PDF documents must have alternate text.


    Refer to the complete list of axe 2.0 rules.

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