12 Replies Latest reply on May 15, 2015 7:01 AM by Design_mom

    How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already

    ferret_99_99

      Hi,

       

      I'm hoping this is an obvious one but it's driving me mad!

       

      I'm working on making my pdf accessible in InDesign 6. It has lots of graphs in .eps format that contain random bits of text (axis labels and percents etc). When I tag these as figures in InDesign and add alt text, when the pdf is exported the screen reader will read the alt text as well as the content of the .eps, which is very confusing to anyone who cannot see the file. I just want the pdf to only recognise my alt text for the image, and not the text within the eps itself. If I tag it as an artefect it just ignores the whole thing, so I'm stumped!

       

      Does anyone know how I do this?

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
          The Print Craftsman Level 1

          Well if it were me I would make a copy of all the EPS files and store them somewhere safe in a folder that had the word "editable" in its name.  Then I would open each of the EPS files in the working folder and convert all the text to paths.  This will cause all the labels to not be text anymore.

           

          Then when you open your InDesign document allow it to update all the links and viola!  No more text being picked up out of the EPS files.

           

          That is what I would do.  Although I work with people who cringe at the idea of converting text to paths.  Because you can't edit the text anymore once you do that.  Hence the reason I mention  making a copy of the EPS files and storing them somehwere safe so if you do need to edit the text you will have a file you can do that with.

           

          Randy

          • 2. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
            The Print Craftsman Level 1

            Almost forgot.  This is assuming you have Illustrator to open the EPS files with.

             

            Randy

            • 3. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
              ferret_99_99 Level 1

              Thanks for such a swift answer Randy.  I was hoping there was a way to avoid changing the contents in the actual illustrator files as my clients make so many changes after sign off, that I can see it becoming confusing having to go back to the original file each time, change the text and the update. Although I realise it's only adding one more process – when i'm working with files with 50 graphs or so – I can see the margin for error getting bigger!!

               

              I'm quite surprised there isn't a more obvious way to do this in InDesign as it must crop up for lots of people working with graphs. But thank you!

               

              That is a workaround I can apply in the short term if there isn't another way.

               

              Thanks very much!

              • 4. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                The Print Craftsman Level 1

                There might be a way of doing it in InDesign.  I'm just not aware of

                one.  Although that being said I don't work on EPUB documents so I may

                be clueless.  I just threw out the first thing that came to mind for

                me.  But I will agree that with the numbers you are talking about it

                does open pandoras box for a big costly error so I don't blame you for

                shunning my solution.  I would shun it as well if we're talking that

                many graphs.

                 

                Hopefully someone else that knows more about EPUBlishing will give you a

                more suitable answer.

                 

                Randy

                • 5. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                  ferret_99_99 Level 1

                  I'll take what i can get Randy! That's an option I hadn't thought of so it will certainly work on the odd document in the meantime.

                   

                  But yes, hopefully someone else has had the same problem and there is a way of setting it up in tags or something to override this content.

                  • 6. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                    Design_mom

                    Hi there,

                     

                    I know this was a couple of years ago but did you ever resolve this? I have the exact same problem and all I can think to do is outline the text on 40 graphs!!! for a very large document. Would love to know if you found a work around.

                     

                    Sarah

                    • 7. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                      ferret_99_99 Level 1

                      Hi Sarah,

                       

                      I'd forgotten about this thread!

                       

                      I don't think I ever did find a solution - but if I did I'm afraid it's

                      buried in the recesses of my memory.

                       

                      I agree that outlining the text for this many charts is really unhelpful.

                       

                      I had to keep the charts live in case the client made a change, but

                      otherwise you could just batch export them as jpgs, save them as the exact

                      same name as the eps files (keeping a backup somewhere else!) and then just

                      update the links in InDesign.

                       

                      Sorry that I don't think I ever came up with anything better.

                       

                      Let me know if you find anything else and good luck!

                      • 8. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                        Design_mom Level 1

                        I ended up saving a separate editable charts and graphs folder too, then outlining the original text. It actually took very little time  (compared to my online searching ). Still there has to be something more streamlined, I am going to a course in June with an InDesign/Accessibility guru so hopefully he will have some ideas. I will keep you posted if he has any genius solutions.

                        • 9. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                          ferret_99_99 Level 1

                          Yep – it's the searching for answers that really takes the time. Actual work is about 10%!

                          If you do get any answers from your guru I'd love to hear them.

                          • 10. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                            Chad Chelius Adobe Community Professional

                            It's funny that with accessibility, usually we WANT the text to be read, but in a case like this we don't! Here's one solution that I use.

                             

                            In the Illustrator file, instead of outlining the text, I change the text to be 99% opacity. Bear with me here… you'll never notice the opacity change visually. I usually preach saving vector files as .ai files but this is one case where EPS works FOR you and not AGAINST you. When you save the EPS file in Illustrator, in the EPS Options dialog, there is a Transparency section that basically is the Transparency flattener. EPS can't contain live transparency so any transparency will need to be eliminated (flattened). Click the Custom button and in the resulting dialog box, enable the checkbox that says "Convert all Text to Outlines". Click OK and OK again to save the file. What this does, is converts all of the text to outlines when the file is placed in InDesign but not in the file itself so the text is still editable in Illustrator. Now you can add the alternate text (I do this in InDesign by pulling the metadata from the placed EPS file) and this should produce the result that you are looking for.

                            • 11. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                              ferret_99_99 Level 1

                              Thanks Chad – that is a really nifty workaround that will preserve the ability to edit the original file.

                               

                              I'll be using this in future.

                              • 12. Re: How to apply alt text to .eps that contains text already
                                Design_mom Level 1

                                WooHoo! Thanks Chad. I will use that technique, so helpful.