What is the correct use of the Caption tag when used with the Figure tag?

As you've advised me, information is available on this question at the AcceDe PDF Project website :


I downloaded the resource called 'Making PDF documents accessible with Adobe Acrobat Pro'.

I was concerned that if a Caption tag is used inside a Figure tag, then the alternative text of the Figure tag would suppress the Caption tag and screen readers users would not hear the caption.

The manual states on page 54:

"When a Figure tag contains a text-type content item (such as a caption), this is not replaced by the alternate text of the image (this is the only tag which operates in this way). So, screen readers will read the alternate text of the image and then the caption."

However, I've tested this in the latest versions of Jaws and NVDA and neither screen reader reads the Caption tag when it is a child of a Figure tag.

This is consistent with the behavior of the Figure/Caption button in Adobe Acrobat, which deletes the existing alt text of a Figure. If this is intentional, then presumably it's so it will not suppress the reading of the Caption tag.

So my question is: Is the AcceDe information correct? Can it be confirmed from a primary standards document?

And in a real-world context, even if this is the correct syntax, would you recommend using this syntax when both NVDA and Jaws do not interpret it as intended?

These are tag constructions that are used in many PDF documents. I would be concerned if users of the best screen readers available are not hearing any figure captions.

Thanks in anticipation.

PS: Sorry I've raised this as a new question. I may have accidentally marked by previous question as answered.

Robert Di Renzo

1 Answer

Hi Robert.

I'm not an expert in accessibility, this is why I gave you this link.

I cannot help you furthermore, sorry.

JR Boulay   

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