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Using Data Merge to Create a 508 Compliant Document

Nov 10, 2011 1:57 PM

Tags: #cs5 #data #508 #data_merge #alt_text

I've been tasked to create a 508 compliant document from an existing InDesign document.  This is a document that uses Data Merge to fill in a form along with 2-3 photos, and a location map.  Each photo and the map need to have Alt Text descriptions.  I know how to apply Alt Text in the structure panel.  I would like to add Alt Text to these graphics in the document I am using to create the merged document.  When I do so then create the data merged document it drops all of the Alt Text.  Does anyone know a remedy for this problem?


I appreciate any input.  Thank you.



  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 10, 2011 4:56 PM   in reply to bhammeraz

    As far as I know, data merge can only add text to a frame and only if it's in a field in the record.


    I would bet, though, that if the alt text can be included in the meta data of the images, one of the smart folks over in scripting can come up with a way to bring it in after the merge is complete.

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    Feb 16, 2013 4:47 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    Australia doesn't have section 508 so I'm not quite sure what is required by law... but if it's a line of type such as a description, should be do-able.


    Two ways:


    1) If the images have a description or a title in the IPTC metadata, the data merge frame containing the image could simply have a caption containing either the description or title on another layer (that is possible from captions) and then that layer is toggled on/off depending on what output is required


    2) Much the same as above, but instead of using the IPTC metadata, this uses an additional field in the datamerge database. A textbox is put above the image (again, in another layer) and that textbox contains the description from the datamerge database. Just as in the previous solution, the layer is toggled on/off depending on what output is required.


    Or am I barking up the wrong tree and need a layman's definition of what section 508 requires?



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