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Adding alt text to PDF images and having that copy be part of the searchable document text?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2021 Feb 03, 2021

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Is this a thing that is possible? Adding alt text for an image I know can be done with tags, but is there a way to make that text then part of the searchable language when using the Finder?

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Edit and convert PDFs , How to , Standards and accessibility

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2021 Feb 03, 2021

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Question: when you say "the Finder," do you mean when using the Apple OS Finder?

 

Or do you mean the search box/function in Acrobat?

 

Alt-text is part of the graphic's metadata, and I don't believe Acrobat can search it.

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
|    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 03, 2021 Feb 03, 2021

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The search function within Acrobat...I wonder if there is another way to include that description as searchable. Thanks! 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 03, 2021 Feb 03, 2021

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Possibly, but Adobe's engineers would have to do that.

This forum is only a user-to-user help forum and Adobe employees rarely chime in.

Why not post this suggestion as a feature in Adobe's www.Acrobat.UserVoice.com forum? That's where Adobe honchos listen to the customers.

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents
|    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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Community Expert ,
Feb 04, 2021 Feb 04, 2021

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As Bevi pointed out, the alt text is not searchable. You could however hide text behind the figure which wouldn't be seen visually but would still be searchable in the document. I don't fully understand the context behind why you want/need this but this technique would work although it would highlight the text behind the image.

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New Here ,
Feb 06, 2024 Feb 06, 2024

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Thanks everyone for contributing to this post. I have the same question. Here's my context:

  • We have a set of pdf documents stored together. Users can search to find appropriate documents
  • We want to add alt text to the images in the documents so those documents show up when users search the term(s) included in the .pdf

If we use alt text images using Adobe Acrobat for creating .pdf's, will this work?

 

Thanks,

PJL

 

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Community Expert ,
Feb 06, 2024 Feb 06, 2024

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I feel like people are asking the same question hoping to get a different answer. The reality is that alt text is not included when searching content within Adobe Acrobat. Period. I'm struggling to understand why you'd want to hide content in alt text, why not just include it in the body copy of the document if it's so important? 

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