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Chrome to Get ‘Tagged PDF Export’ Support

Google Chrome currently has a “Print to PDF” option that lets you create PDF from any web page. The Chrome team is working on an improved version of this feature to increase the accessibility of PDF generated.

Tagged PDF Export

According to the design document that is publicly available here:

“Chrome currently exports untagged PDF files, in which each page is just an unordered sequence of drawing commands. Instead Chrome should be outputting a tagged PDF, which provides a structure tree for the entire PDF document. It enables PDF readers to understand the correct reading order and better support selecting and copying text, and it better supports screen readers and other assistive technology.”

“Tagged” is considered a requirement for PDFs to be accessible. For many organizations, this is a requirement for their documents. Currently, Chrome only supports “untagged” PDFs. With this change, PDF files generated using Chrome will contain additional metadata, making it “tagged”.

The official documentation from Adobe provides more technical details on what is tagged PDF and how to generate it. For Chrome-specific technical details, you can refer to the design document or the bug that was created to track the development of this feature.

The Chromium bug also has the most simple explanation of this feature in layman terms:

“In the PDF, there should be a logical structure with tags, such as div, p, etc. In the PDF, there should be an alternative text for the image.” (Slightly edited for clarity)

As you can see, tagged PDFs will improve the accessibility of PDFs generated using Chrome. It will also be helpful when you have convert those PDF files into other formats or extract data from it.

Do you generated a lot of PDFs using Chrome? Let us know in the comments section.

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