Interactive form controls must have Labels/Tooltips associated

Rule ID: interactive-form-controls
Ruleset: axe-pdf 2.0
User Impact: Critical
Guidelines: WCAG 2.1 (A), WCAG 2.0 (A)

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Compliance Data & Impact

User Impact


Disabilities Affected

  • Blind
  • Deafblind
  • Mobility


  • WCAG 2.1 (A)
  • WCAG 2.0 (A)

WCAG Success Criteria [WCAG 2.1 (A)]

  • 1.3.1: MUST: Info and Relationships

WCAG Success Criteria [WCAG 2.0 (A)]

  • 1.3.1: MUST: Info and Relationships

How to Fix the Problem

Add labels on the form field elements.

Using the Forms tool in Adobe Acrobat Pro:

  1. In the Forms menu, select Add or Edit Fields
  2. For the field you want to edit, access the context menu and select the Properties dialog
  3. In the General tab of the Properties dialog, type a description for the form field in the Tooltip field
  4. Repeat for all form fields

Note: Adobe Acrobat Pro is the most common tool for PDF remediations, but other tools and software are also available and can be used to remediate the PDF.

Why it Matters

Effective form labels are required to make forms accessible. The purpose of form elements such as checkboxes, radio buttons, input fields, etc., is often apparent to sighted users, even if the form element is not programmatically labeled. Screen reader users require useful form labels to identify form fields. Adding a label to all form elements eliminates ambiguity and contributes to a more accessible product.

When labels for form elements are absent, screen reader users do not know the input data expectations. Screen readers cannot programmatically determine information about input objects without an established label relationship (or redundant text serving as a label).

Rule Description

Form controls allow users to interact with a PDF document by filling in information or indicating choices which can then be submitted for processing. Assistive technology users must be able to recognize and understand the form fields, make selections, and provide input to complete the forms, and submit the form, just as sighted users can. Understandable labels that convey the purpose of each form control are essential to form accessibility.

The Algorithm (in simple terms)

Interactive form controls must have Labels/Tooltips associated


Other Resources

You may also want to check out these other resources.

Refer to the complete list of axe 2.0 rules.

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