4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 14, 2012 9:58 AM by mlangfeld

    How do I create an accessible PDF for Thesaurus with many chapters, from InDesign CS 5.5 and Acrobat


      Hi folks,


      I have redesigned a Thesaurus (controlled vocabulary for an Agency's archives) in InDesign CS 5.5. I am now preparing an accessible PDF from the many files (using a Book created in InDesign). The front cover, front matter and back cover are not part of the Book, to keep the page numbering simple.


      The Book includes two main sections, an Alphabetical display and a Hierarchical display of terms and their relations. I created chapters per alphabet listings, i.e. Alphabetical Display A, B, C, etc. So there are over 50 chapters, including cover, front matter, etc.


      I've successfully made the front cover and front matter PDFs after viewing videos here: http://tv.adobe.com/watch/accessibility-adobe/preparing-indesign-files-for-accessibility/ and downloading and using this recommended Action for Acrobat: InDesign CS5_5 Accessibility Touchup.sequ


      Several questions specific to this project don't seem to be addressed in the videos, however.

      • First, I'd like to know if I can create an accessible PDF using the Book function > Export Book to PDF. Or do I need to make a PDF per chapter? The book has over 50 chapters (by alphabet, twice), so creating them one by one will take a lot more time, but I'll do it if that's the best practice.
      • After creating the PDFs, if I use (in Acrobat): Create > Combine Files into PDF to make one full PDF (over 600 pages BTW), will the final PDF retain accessibility settings? Do I need to run the Accessibility Report again for the combined PDF?
      • I used InTools.com Power Headers plugin to add a page header that automatically shows the new first term used per page. So, one chapter (with Chapter Title as H1) will have a different page header (which will be H2) per page, however the text flows through the whole chapter. I don't see where to add the page headers to the Article Window in InDesign. Do I add in this order: H1, H2, text (for whole chapter), H2, H2, H2, etc. Will I need to work on the PDF in Acrobat, where pages will be shown, in order to get the correct H2 with the correct text on the page? Am I missing something?
      • Will I have any issues with Bookmarks that requires a specific workflow?

      I think that's about it, though I might run into more questions as I progress through the project.


      Thanks, Marilyn

        • 1. Re: How do I create an accessible PDF for Thesaurus with many chapters, from InDesign CS 5.5 and Acrobat
          raeben3 Level 3

          You can definitely make a Tagged PDF from a Book in Indesign CS5.5, provided all your articles are tagged.


          If you are tagging for accessibility in most cases, Header and Footer styles should be marked to Tag as Artifact--otherwise they will be part of the text flow at the top/bottom of each page.  Do you really want this?  IMHO tagging repetitive headings for accessibility is not a good idea as it interrupts the reading flow and would confuse someone using a screen reader.  I don't use InTag to create running headers based on the first occurrence of an item on a page. Indesign's built-in variables do this trick pretty well. Does InTag add something special? So I'm not sure if InTag headers will convey in a tagged PDF or not--but I'd guess they do.


          Bookmarks will also appear in the final PDF as Bookmarks--if you select them in the PDF Export options. They will appear but will not work if you combine files.


          If you combine files, you will keep the tags, but you will lose the effectiveness of chapter bookmarks and *internal* hyperlinks -- they will be there but they won't work. External hyperlinks should still work.


          Good luck, sounds like an interesting project.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: How do I create an accessible PDF for Thesaurus with many chapters, from InDesign CS 5.5 and Acrobat
            mlangfeld Level 1

            raaeben3, thanks for answering! I'm glad I can make a Tagged PDF from a Book in InDesign CS5.5 if all the articles are tagged. That's great to know.


            I agree that most of the time, Headers and Footers should be tagged as Artifact. However, not in this case, at least for the header. The header is different on each page—it is a larger version of the first new term on the page (sort of like you find in a dictionary, though I did not add the ending term). My concern is that each chapter contains the terms beginning with one letter of the alphabet (A, B, C). And the text flows through the pages. So, each page has a header, but there is only one text item. So, I can only add the text once, however would like to add the headers (remember, this isn't epub, the pages will be fixed, so the header will help people to see where they are in the alphabetical list of terms). Would I add each header as a new article?:

            Article1 >



            Article2 >


            Article3 >



            Or add them all to one Article?:

            Article1 >








            I'll add all of the chapters to the Book, so that I make only one PDF and don't combine multiple PDFs afterwards. I need to keep the hyperlinks and bookmarks to pass the Accessibility Test.


            Best, Marilyn

            • 3. Re: How do I create an accessible PDF for Thesaurus with many chapters, from InDesign CS 5.5 and Acrobat
              raeben3 Level 3

              I understand why you need updated running headers in your book. To a sighted reader these serve as a guide to where you are and help you find things quickly.  In addition, if you are exporting your data to XML or HTML from the tagged PDF it would also be important to have these in the proper location. 


              But for accessibility purposes, it doesn't have to be there because the screen reader reads everything in linear order, line by line.  No one is looking at the page.  A user listening to the screen reader read the page is going to hear this heading, just before the actual word itself. So they will hear the first word on the page twice.  It's not the end of the world if it's there, but such headings are not necessary for accessibility unless they are not repetitive and contain information that is not otherwise available.


              So I would say, fine if you need them or want them there, it's just one word. 


              I think you should try exporting your book to PDF (or even just a chapter of the book) and look at the tags panel in Acrobat to see if you are getting the result you want.  I can't tell you exactly what you should do to get those results, you are using a plug-in I don't have. 


              I can tell you I didn't have to add the headers to any article at all, they just automatically export if the other articles in the file are added and you don't select the header style option "not for export as XML."


              You may not experience the same results with your plug-in, but I think it will probably work the same way. 


              Give it a try and best of luck.

              • 4. Re: How do I create an accessible PDF for Thesaurus with many chapters, from InDesign CS 5.5 and Acrobat
                mlangfeld Level 1

                Thanks again. I get what you're saying this time. So, I won't add those running heads as tags. That makes sense to me.


                We are not exporting to XML or HTML at this time, so no issues there.


                Best, Marilyn