Chrome 85 Will Now Generate Tagged PDFs When Users Will Print A Webpage

On July 26 of this year, Google marked the 30th anniversary for the American with Disabilities Act and highlighted several assistive tools built into Google’s products. The ADA was passed to guarantee that individuals would be protected against discrimination based on disabilities in all areas of life like education, jobs, and more. People have gained a better understanding of what disability actually is, and according to Google, ableism was among the top searches in 2020.

Now, the company is introducing a new feature in Chrome which generates tagged PDFs that are more accessible to individuals with disabilities such as blind people who use a screen reader to access PDFs. On Wednesday, the company wrote in a blog post that starting in Chrome version 85, which is scheduled to go stable by the end of August, the Chrome browser will now automatically generate tagged PDFs when users will print a webpage, and choose the option that says ‘Save as PDF.’

Today, most users use the Save as PDF option while printing a webpage, and Chrome will soon update the PDF file being saved on your device to include information related to the structure of the document file such as headings, paragraphs, picture descriptions, and tables. According to Chrome’s blog post, tagged PDF contains extra metadata related to the structure of a document.

While they are more accessible to users with disabilities, they can also make it convenient for software that needs to automatically process as well as extra information from a PDF file.

Technical lead for Chrome accessibility, Dominic Mazzoni wrote in the blog post that the addition of this metadata to PDFs will be a perfect fit for the Chrome browser since this information is already available in well-structured pages. By adding the new feature into the Chrome browser, Google imagines that companies will be able to rely on the web rather than a dedicated 3rd-party software.

By building the feature into the Chrome browser, Google hopes some organizations that use HTML as part of document workflow would be able to benefit from the new feature and generate PDF documents more conveniently. Google partnered with CommonLook to enhance the accessibility of PDFs in the Chrome browser, and Google used the PDF Validator tool of CommonLook.

Currently, the feature is being rolled out to users as an experiment, and the feature will be available in Chrome 85 which will be launched in late August. You can use the feature by enabling the ‘chrome: //flags/#export-tagged-pdf’ flag in Chrome 84.

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