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BCM-MSY
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InDesign CS 5.5 Tagged Reading Order Incorrect in Acrobat X

Jan 6, 2012 9:55 AM

Tags: #error #indesign_cs5.5 #accessibility #acrobat_pro_x #reading_order #accessible #structure_pane #articles_pane #section_508

I have to create Section 508 accessible PDFs, but Acrobat Pro X does not follow the tagged reading order code/instructions I set from within InDesign CS5.5.

 

  1. I first set the tags in reading order in the Structure Pane and created a PDF. Opened the PDF file in Acrobat. The reading order was different.
  2. I went back to InDesign and set reading order in the Article Pane--and checked the line to "Use for reading order in tagged PDF." Created a PDF. Opened in Acrobat. The reading order is different. 
  3. I went back to InDesign and set the tags in order in both the Structure Pane and Article Pane, and created a PDF. Opened PDF in Acrobat. Reading order was different.
     

The purpose of Section 508 is to make documents read more easily, and logically, by those with sight difficulties. As I see it, InDesign CS5.5 and Acrobat Pro X fail to do this.

 

Is there a solution?

 
Replies
  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    Jan 6, 2012 10:26 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    This is a dumb question, I'm sure, but you have "Created Tagged PDF" checked in Indesign's PDF export dialog, right?

    Have you tried both interactive and print PDF exports?

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    Jan 7, 2012 3:18 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY
    Oh yes.

    Sorry, does that mean "Yes, I have Create Tagged PDF" checked? Or somethign else?

     

    From what I've seen on the Forums, I'm not the only one experiencing this issue (quite a few Users, in fact).

    Err, really? I saw one other question yesterday that looked extremely similar (I wondered if it was one of your colleagues!), but I don't recall seeing questions in the past. Has there been no resolution on any of those other threads?

     
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    Jan 11, 2012 12:35 AM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    In ID CS5.5 the Articles panel is nifty way to specify reading order.

    There is an old blog post I wrote  that might help you.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
    5,572 posts
    Jun 25, 2009
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    Jan 11, 2012 12:39 AM   in reply to Vikrant Rai

    In ID CS5.5 the Articles panel is nifty way to specify reading order.

    Vikrant:

     

    Martha mentioned that she tried the Articles panel in the original post and it did not work:

     

    2. I went back to InDesign and set reading order in the Article Pane--and checked the line to "Use for reading order in tagged PDF." Created a PDF. Opened in Acrobat. The reading order is different.

    Unless she is using it incorrectly (?), there is something more complicated going on here.

     
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    Jan 11, 2012 7:30 AM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    Martha,

     

    You'll want to remove the autoquote and personal informatyion when replying by email. You are still posting to the web.

     
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    Jan 12, 2012 1:47 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    I want to thank BCM for posting the solution to this. It is not idea but at least I now understand better how it works. I also thought it would follow either the articles panel or the structure pane. Also if you anchor an object to a stacked text object, it follows the text correctly.

     
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    Jul 2, 2012 1:09 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    I have done this same sequence with the "Create tagged PDF" box checked upon exporting and "Use for Tagged Reading Order in PDF" selected in the Articles pane, all to no avail.

     

    I noticed when reviewing the tags in the PDF that they are in the correct order. Does this affect the reading order or does that only show the tags in the correct order? Is it possible that the tagged order is correct and the Reading Order tool is pulling from the order the items were placed on the page?

     

    I read Martha's solution, but it doesn't make sense that Adobe would go through all the trouble to create a tool and not have it work. There has to be a better way than to move everything to the back to put it in the correct reading order.

     
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    Nov 14, 2012 12:25 PM   in reply to seegs17

    Does anyone know if a solution has been found to BCM-MSY's original question. I am losing my mind with the articles panel in InDesign 5.5 and the reading order not converting properly in acrobat X. I have 200+ documents that were created in .indd that need to be made accessible according to WAG 2.0 AA standards and I'm struggling with form #1. I followed the exact same 3 steps outlined above by BCM-MSY. Do i need to upgrade to CS 6??

     
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    Nov 14, 2012 1:22 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    I love you BCM-MSY. I just printed this. am exhausted after researching this all day. will follow your steps tomorrow and post how all goes. fingers are crossed......THANK YOU!!!

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 11:45 AM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    OK ...so I'd say I was about 85% successful.

    -most of the reading order was correct after i exported the indd file to PDF(interactive).

    - but...5 out of the 19 tags were out of order

    - and the other problem is that in my .indd file..i had about 30 'story' tags. but when i exported to PDF some of the tags were merged into one big tag. Not sure why? so i will have to edit the tags in the PDF i guess??

     

    My next big problem is that the forms i work with are bilingual. So some how I have to figure out how to set the language to english for some parts; and then set other parts to french. not sure if this is possible or if i will have to create two (2) seperate files..one 'english' PDF..and one french PDF??

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 12:16 PM   in reply to miss forms

    im wondering if it might be easier to just convert the .indd file to PDF and then just add all the tags in acrobat...as this is taking a really long time ::(

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 12:22 PM   in reply to miss forms

    its the clicking on every object and sending it to the back that is getting very time consuming

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 12:29 PM   in reply to miss forms

    i def prefer to work in InDesign. but im still not sure why my individual text boxes got tagged as one (1) object after i exported to PDF. i had 3 seperate text boxes...all in horizontal alignment but in the PDF its all one box. so now i have to remove the one tag ...and c if i can use the touch up tool maybe to make them 3 tags. ugh.

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 1:02 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    i give up again for the day! i went back into indesign. made sure everything was in a seperate text box. The first time i exported the .indd file, there were 19 tags that showed up in the PDF when i opened it in Acrobat. This time when i exported the .indd file, there were only 16 tags. In the bottom section of my .indd file I had 3 paragraphs all in seperate text boxes but in the PDF, they show up as one tagged story. ugh!

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 1:30 PM   in reply to miss forms

    I do many documents using indesign and acrobat for 508. My method is simpler. I make sure the stacking order is correct on each page ( but I don't go  crazy over this) it can still be fixed in acrobat. I do not use the structure or tags. I only use the object export options to tag my alt text and make everything artifact that I do not want tagged. I find all my hyperlinks.   I save as a pdf file, optimized, tagged, with bookmarks (If I have a table of contents that was created I also make that into bookmarks) and hyperlinks. I found that indesign taggs the table pretty good if they are created correctly.

     

    Then I go in acrobat and start remediating the document. i set the language. Set the page structure. I look at each page to make sure the order is correct, if not I tweak with the order panel. I do not worry if taggs for text shows up as one tag. That is fine. i do pull out the headings and subheads using the tagging panel ( I wish I could do this in indesign but It has not worked). I check the hyperlinks.

     

    If there is a problem it usually tells me which page to look on to fix it. We also have a software plug in for acrobat called common look that can fix most problems. If you have a clean document it usually can be made 508. Use jaws or read outloud to see how it works.

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 1:42 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    Ok - just so im understanding newjudith....my form only has text boxes...no tables, hyperlinks etc. so are you saying it would be easier to simply convert my .indd file to PDF and add all the tags in Acrobat?( Except as you said for the stacking order). And that I don't need to specify anything in .indd? Thanks for the help all. its really greatly appreciated.

     
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    Nov 15, 2012 1:51 PM   in reply to miss forms

    If the text boxes are linked it should not be a problem. There does not have to be a separate tag for every text box. If the 3 boxes of text are linked and is the same level of story text than it could have one tagged box around  it.I would test letting acrobat tag it. Test in the read outloud or jaws.

     

    Hoping  that indesign 6 will make it easier.

     
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    Jun 15, 2013 12:34 PM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    I'm just getting started with accessible PDFs from InDesign, using InDesign CS6 and Acrobat XI. If anyone has anything new to add to the techniques described here, I'd love to hear about any helpful updates to the workflow.

     
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    Aug 30, 2013 6:12 AM   in reply to BCM-MSY

    I've worked with structuring Indesign documents for export, but it's been a while.

     

    The process is far from simple and looks like you've done a thorough job with these instructions.  I recall it taking at least half a day for a largish (80 layout pages) journal document with maybe 6-8 journal articles -- some of which had 3 to 4 stories or separate text frames and 8-10 images. Clean up was required for some, regardless.  We used this process to create tagged pdf and streamline conversion to html.

     

    For a monthly or any repetitive task it was definitely worth it to develop a good workflow even with some cleanup.  But for one-offs going to accessible PDF only I'm thinkig it is faster to add tags in the PDF and do the cleanup there, particularly if there are multiple text boxes on each page in your layout.  But I like working in PDF and it goes quickly for me. 

     

    Can you estimate how long it took you to structure yoru document and what your document is like -- I understand the processing time depends on how many pages, stories and images, so the more detail about your document you can provide the better. 

     

    Thanks so much!

     
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    Aug 30, 2013 9:50 AM   in reply to BCM-MSY
     
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    Sep 17, 2013 12:02 PM   in reply to jay fresno

    Hi all,

     

    I just released an enhanced version of FrameReporter which might help out for this. Have a look here:

     

    http://rorohiko.tv/stacking

     

    It's not the whole solution, but I hope it might make your lives easier...

     
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