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19

Alternate-text seems to be removed after the pdf is converted to PDF/A-3a

Community Beginner ,
Nov 13, 2023 Nov 13, 2023

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Since the latest version of Acrobat DC, the preflight Convert to PDF/A-3a seems to remove alt-text from the field 'Alternate text’ in the dialog panel Object Properties. The field is empty. But when you choose ‘Edit tag' the alt text is stille there.
This is confusing and disturbing, since our clients check and report missing alt texts.
 
Before converting to PDF/A-3a: Alt-text in field ‘Alt text’.
A 10.26.13.png
 
After converting to PDF/A-3a: No alt-text in field ‘Alt text’.
B 10.19.34.png
 
But the tag is not completely removed: 
C 10.20.08.png

 

Is there a solution for this problem (other than reapplying the alt-text)? Or is there a work around?

TOPICS
Create PDFs , Edit and convert PDFs , PDF , Standards and accessibility

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 08, 2024 Mar 08, 2024

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Hi there 
 
Hope you are doing well and sorry to hear that
 
Is this an issue with a particular PDF file or with all the PDFs? Please try with a different PDF file and check. 

What is the version of the Acrobat DC you are using? To check the version go to Help > About Acrobat and make sure you have the recent version 23.08.20555 installed. Go to Help > Check for updates and reboot the computer once.
 
Also try to repair the installation from the help menu (Win Only) and see if that works.
 
Please try to reset the Acrobat preferences as described here https://adobe.ly/3V6INbh and check

 

~Amal

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 10, 2024 Mar 10, 2024

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Hi Amal,

 

This problem does not only occur on my computer. All of my colleagues deal with the same problem.

And it's not related to only 1 file.

 

The version number you mention is probably a Windows version.

We work on Mac; my (recent) version is 2023.006.20380; we regularly update.

 

Today I tested again and, sadly to say, the problems still occurs.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 10, 2024 Mar 10, 2024

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It might be a problem with the PDF/A conversion utility itself that you are using.

 

Originally, the PDF/A standard was developed separately from PDF/UA (accessibility) and didn't adequately address accessibility. But the Level a and b conformance levels added later are supposed to retain accessibility features, including tags, structure, and alt text.

 

References:

 

 

@Amal. I tested one of our accessible PDFs that contained Alt Text, and exported it in Acrobat (2023.008.20555 Windows commercial) and the Alt Text was indeed dropped as the original poster said. I've attached my original and archive PDFs.

 

Three comments:

  1. When in Acrobat, I should be able to select which PDF/A standard to use: /A-1, /A-2, /A-3, and /A-4. I also should be able to choose the conformance level, too: A, B, or even U (which drops the tags and accessibility).
  2. Right now, without any control from the user, Acrobat is defaulting to the PDF/A-2b standard. Not only is 2 out of date, but it doesn't allow the user to control which standard and conformance level to use.
    BeviChagnonPubComcom_0-1710093357058.png

     

  3. The user should be able to export to PDF/Axx directly from MS Office (with PDFMaker) and Adobe InDesign (which it appears was used by the original poster). At this time, it appears that /A-2a, /A-2b, /A-3a, and /A-3b will maintain the tags, structure, and Alt Text. Note that conformance level u drops the tag and structure, including the Alt Text.

 

—Bevi Chagnon

US Delegate to the ISO for PDF standards

 

|    Bevi Chagnon   |  Designer & Technologist for Accessible Documents |
|    PubCom |    Classes & Books for Accessible InDesign, PDFs & MS Office |

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