Acrobat/Reader: how to disable the “Reading Untagged Document” dialog

Issue

When you open a PDF document in Acrobat/Reader you may encounter the following dialog:

You may want to disable this dialog from appearing as it can effect your productivity if it appears for every document you open.

Reason

Accessibility tools like screen readers are used to read the contents of PDF files displayed in Acrobat/Reader.  Screen readers rely on the documents tags to read the contents of the document.  This dialog appears when Acrobat/Reader detects that screen reader software is installed and informs the user that the document has no tags (and therefore cannot be read by any screen reader).  The dialog is used to then create tags for the document so that it is accessible.

Windows itself has screen readers installed by default in certain versions and these may be activated causing this dialog to appear.  We have also received reports that other non-Accessibility software and device drivers cause this dialog to appear, as the software and drivers incorrectly use some system flags usually reserved for Accessibility tools.

Solution

We are working with Accessibility software vendors to find a more reliable way of registering such software to ensure Adobe Acrobat/Reader correctly detect it.  The goal is to avoid Accessibility functionality being launched in Acrobat/Reader due to the mis-use of the system flags by non-Accessibility software.

In the meantime you can use one of the workarounds below to avoid this issue.

Workarounds

You can prevent this dialog from appearing in a number of different ways:

1. Always use the default settings and create tags for the document

In this case you should just select the option “Always use the settings from the Reading preferences (Do not show this dialog again)”.  The options defined in the Acrobat/Reader Preferences under the Reading section will be used to create tags for each PDF file (that do not already contain tags) opened in Acrobat/Reader.

2. Disable the confirmation dialog in the Preferences

You can also disable this “Readung untagged document” dialog in the Reading Preferences by un-checking the option Edit > Preferences > Reading > “Confirm before tagging documents”.  This option writes the following registry key which could also be used for enterprise deployments:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\9.0\Accessibility]

“bCheckReadMode”=dword:00000000

You can also disable the Accessibility Setup-Assistant dialog using the following registry key:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Acrobat Reader\9.0\Accessibility]

“iWizardRun”=dword:00000001”

3.Remove the Accessibility plugins from Acrobat/Reader

If you do not require any accessibility features in Acrobat/Reader and you have not been successful disabling the dialog using the methods above, then you can always close Acrobat/Reader and remove the Accessibility.api and ReadOutLoud.api from the plugins folder.  You should keep a copy of these plugins in another folder as a backup.  When you restart Acrobat/Reader it should no longer display this dialog.

reference: (182470670/1877982)

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15 Responses to Acrobat/Reader: how to disable the “Reading Untagged Document” dialog

  1. Mark says:

    Thanks for this guide. The dialog was driving me CRAZY when it popped up each time, but option 1 didn’t make sense for me, as I didn’t want to waste time creating tags I would never use.

    • munawar khan says:

      Thanks alot for this guide

      • munawar khan says:

        Acrobat sometimes thinks that assistive technologies are being used when they are not. Why is there no option to turn off tagging? Basically, let us, the users, tell Acrobat, “I don’t care about assistive technologies. Just process pdf documents normally.” This has been wasting a lot of my time, and there are other posts on various websites that indicate that others have also been plagued with this.

  2. Daniel Wong says:

    Acrobat sometimes thinks that assistive technologies are being used when they are not. Why is there no option to turn off tagging? Basically, let us, the users, tell Acrobat, “I don’t care about assistive technologies. Just process pdf documents normally.” This has been wasting a lot of my time, and there are other posts on various websites that indicate that others have also been plagued with this.

  3. Ted says:

    So the only way to disable this is via reg hack or messing with files? Great work there Adobe.

  4. Anmar Mansur says:

    In my case, this behavior is triggered by installing graphic tablet drivers. This false detection of graphic tablets as a form of assistive technology has been happening as far back as Acrobat Reader 8. The device doesn’t even need to be connected, just having the drivers installed is enough.

    I’d like point out that it’s been FOUR YEARS and THREE MAJOR VERSIONS since this problem was reported in the forums.

    There has to be a way to control the activation of screen reader functionality in Acrobat without relying on a broken detection algorithm, or at least override it without having to rename files.

  5. Jeremy says:

    I’ve been looking for this for years. Do I really have to disable a plugin? Here’s a better idea: add a checkbox in the options to turn acessibility on or off. At least, that’s what every other program does…

  6. jipped says:

    Great – I spend good money for a product that now requires the user to do all the work to stop this feature. I guess my time is less important that Adobe’s.

    Looking for replacement program… might be a better use of time well spent ~

  7. Mike says:

    I tried all of the above and no go

    I did fix this inane problem! see below

    I hate Adobe and its monopoly attitude.

    To fix this I changed the Accessibility Options (win XP) or Ease of access (win 7) (these are found in the Control Panel) and disabled all of the options! You may have to play with it to see exactly which causes it to happen. I killed all options as I don’t need them so give it a shot

  8. OGafoor says:

    Removing the APIs as suggested under “Workarounds #3″ above works – Adobe Reader no longer attempts to tag documents for reading when a pdf file is opened.

    Path for locating APIs (assuming default installation):

    COMPUTER / LOCAL DISC (C:) / PROGRAM FILES (x86) / ADOBE / READER 10.0 / READER / PLUG-INS

    I removed the APIs and put them on the desktop.

  9. Kim says:

    I want to be able to disable the tagging option for my readers. I’m sending out files to the government and they don’t want to have to do this. How can I fix this?

  10. WT says:

    Option #2 noted above worked fine for me.

    2. Disable the confirmation dialog in the Preferences: You can also disable this “Readung untagged document” dialog in the Reading Preferences by un-checking the option “Confirm before tagging documents”.

    Go to Edit, Preferences, Reading, then UNcheck the second box as noted above. Good luck!

  11. Alice Blankenship says:

    OMG!!! I am so happy to have found this in the HELP! Somehow this reading checker thing got turned on and it was SO very irritating! Now it’s all gone and I am an ecstatic camper! Not just a happy one! :))))))))))) THANK YOU to infinity!

  12. Kenneth Jung says:

    My Acrobat 7.0 professional stopped working after I installed the Reader 10.0! It is very frustrating

  13. Leslie Slaugh says:

    I have been looking for years for a way to disable this very annoying “feature.” I have often chosen to not use Dragon voice dictation because it caused these pop-ups every time I open something in Acrobat. I used the method of renaming the two api’s to have a bk extension (accessibility-api.bk).