JAWS 2019 update to fix PDF language attribute bug

19 December 2018 | Ted Page

Language of parts capability to be restored

BREAKING NEWS—A forthcoming upgrade to JAWS 2019, expected in February, is set to fix a significant PDF language attribute problem that first arose in JAWS 2018.

The problem currently is that JAWS 2018 is unable to read PDF language attributes, except for those on links or images (alt text). Whilst the overall document language attribute continues to work as expected, the language attributes of all non-link or Figure tags are not recognised. Previous versions of JAWS, from JAWS 18 and going way back, handled all PDF language attributes correctly.

WCAG SC 3.1.2 (AA) compliance

Marking up changes in natural language is, of course, a double A WCAG requirement (SC 3.1.2 – language of parts) so the restoration of this functionality in JAWS 2019 will be very welcome.

Over the last decade or more we have produced accessible PDFs in 31 different languages. Testing for any changes of language within a document is a key part of our PDF accessibility test routine.

To-do list entry

Order JAWS 2019 upgrade.