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Posted on by Universal Design Center

Setting the Language For a PDF

PDFs should specify the language of the content, but often don’t. Setting the language helps assistive technology such as screenreaders to present the content correctly.

From a PDF editor such as Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, select the File tab, then Properties. Select the Advanced tab. Under Reading Options, set the Language value.  

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Note that this value sets the primary language but does not convey dialects, creoles, pidgins, or African American Language. The value is set once for the entire document, even if the file contains more than one language. If your class uses materials where just ”English” is insufficient, contact the Universal Design Center to explore options. 

Web pages and web applications must flag the language too. The language is already set within Canvas, and if you have web pages outside of Canvas, the WAVE browser plug-in will let you know if the language value is missing. Contact the Universal Design Center if you need support with the accessibility of a web page. 

DeAngelis, T. (2015, March). In search of cultural competence. Monitor on Psychology. 

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