3 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2014 7:58 AM by oakandleaf

    Tab Order vs Reading Order

    oakandleaf Level 1

      I am confused about tab and reading order. I assumed that if a document was in the proper reading order, than the tab order would be correct. Am I mistaken in this? I had a document I made accessible in Indesign to a pdf. It has a form portion in addition to 8 pages of text. The client came back saying the tab order wasn't correct, I checked in acrobat and it appears that the tab order is only applying to the form fields and any hyperlinks (these are also causing text to be skipped over and go directly to a hyperlink). Should text boxes also have a tab order in addition to a correct reading order? If so, how do I get text boxes that aren't form fields or hyperlinks to have a tab order?

        • 1. Re: Tab Order vs Reading Order
          a C student Level 3

          You mention the document is accessible, so I assume it is fully and correctly tagged. Have you checked in Acrobat Pro to make sure the Tab Order property of each page is set to Use Document Structure? You can check this in the Page Thumbnails pane by selecting all the pages then right-click > properties (at least on a PC - I assume Mac works the same). If so the tab order and reading order should both follow the tag structure.


          Hope this helps.


          a 'C' student

          • 2. Re: Tab Order vs Reading Order
            oakandleaf Level 1

            Thanks so much for your quick response. I just checked the document structure in acrobat pro as you suggested and it is set to "use document structure". I can't figure out why they are having issues with the tab order then. Should all text boxes be able to be tabbed through? Right now, when you tab through the document it is only going directly to form fields and hyperlinks. I don't know if this is why they were having an issue with it. If this isn't how it's supposed to be, how would I go about making sure all text boxes can be tabbed through?


            This leads me to another question, this is a legal document I'm working on which mean copy cannot be taken out or revised, the people doing the accessibility testing had issues with the text containing the words "above" or "below" (as in see section above). Recognizing this from the beginning, I thought I had found an appropriate way to handle this by creating a text anchor/hyper link to the text it is referring to, knowing that a non-sighted person would not know where "above" referred to without a link to that text. Now, the testers are asking me to remove the hyperlink and telling me to change the copy (which again, I cannot do legally). Is there another way around this issue that I haven't thought of?


            Lastly, the testers are also telling me my table rows and columns need to have meaningful names. The legal copy for the tables does not have a proper row header/column header names, while I have made the first row act as the header row and have properly given them the correct table styling. Are there any accessibility compliance rules on this matter, or do you think this boils down to the legal copy issue I spoke of prior since I cannot add copy into this document? I have attached a screen shot of one of the tables I'm referring to. Sorry if this isn't making much sense, their comments have thrown me for a loop as we have sent 40+ accessible documents to them and this is the first one to come back with these issues and it was treated no differently than any others.

            Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.42.20 AM.png

            In this example they are telling me the $1,000 should say for example "$1,000 Balance" and the 16.00% should have "APR". Is this a true accessibility issue that they don't give descriptions?

            • 3. Re: Tab Order vs Reading Order
              oakandleaf Level 1

              Here are screen shots for that table's tag tree structure

              Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.57.04 AM.pngScreen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.57.29 AM.pngScreen Shot 2014-09-24 at 9.57.44 AM.png