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Form fields as artifacts (not announced by a screen reader)

New Here ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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Is it possible to truly make make a form field an artifact so it is not announced by a screen reader?

The situation: I have a PDF document that has a form field on the first page to let the user enter a document number consisting of alphabetic and numeric characters. The document owner wants the document number to display in the footer of every page in the document.
I can duplicate the form field in the page footer on every page using the same 'name' property so that the document number displays on every page. Works great! 
But, I do not want it to be announced by a screen reader on every page, just on the first page.
I am able to make the form field an artifact (background) on the subsequent pages using the Reading Order tool. This takes the fields out of the tag tree, BUT the Accessibility Full Check tool lists the artifact fields as failing the 'Tagged Annotations' rule. And a screen reader still announces the fields.
Any thoughts on truly hiding the duplcate form fields from a screen reader? Or other ways of displaying the text in the footer of every page without making the accessibility checker lose its mind?
Thanks.

TOPICS
PDF forms , Standards and accessibility

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Community Expert ,
Mar 14, 2023 Mar 14, 2023

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Hi @Daniel28876796iecd ,

 

By form field I assume that you are referring to a textfield object?

 

What works for me is somewhat of a long workaround but it is worth giving it a shot.

 

Tagging such texfield as an Artifact or even as a Figure won't stop the narrator from reading it.

 

What I would do is to tag the entire document. This will be our Step 1.

 

Once  the desired tag structure is defined the way you want it, to include the  reading order and the desired tabbing order (which in my case I prefer to use "Order Tabs by Row"),  save your document and follow Step 2 which is broken down below with more steps:

 

  • Go to the original footer textfield an make a copy of that field

 

  • I named the editable textfield as "Field.1" and my copy of that field as "Field.2"

 

  • On Field.1 add a validation script:

 

 

 

var f = this.getField("Footer.2");

(event.value != "") ? f.value = event.value : f.value = "";

 

 

 

  • Set Field.1 as required (so that the users of the form can spot that they must enter a value in that field on Page 1)

 

  • Then move Field.2  footer to Page 2 and position it at the desired footer location

 

  • Set Field.2 as a read-only field

 

  • Now, before you attempt any further changes with Accessibility, open the tag tree using the left-hand pane (LHP) 

 

  • Delete the entire tag that was assigned to Field.2

 

  • Then go back to the document; right-click on Field.2 and select from the context menu: "Duplicate Accross Pages"

 

  • In the dialog window that will pop up, enter the range of pages that you want this textfield to duplicate to

 

  • Ckicking the OK button will commit this action and Field.2 will be copied accross all the pages with no tags assigned to it.

 

And now that this is out of the way, open the Accessibility tool (using the right-hand pane).

 

This will be our  Step 3:

 

  • Click on "Reading Options"

 

  • When the "Change Reading Options of Current Document" dialog window opens up, do the following:

 

  • See the section "Screen Reader Option", right below that section tick the radio button => "Read the entire document" => then  below that "Reading Order Options" section see  => Reading Order => select from the dropdown menu prilovided "Tagged reading order" => click on "Confirm" button to commit these changes

 

  • Last, save the document

 

  • To test if this works, close the document and close Adobe Acrobat completely

 

  • Re-open the document and test your form

 

If at this point all is good, you can test by clicking on any field objects with the mouse pointer or tabbing all the way through the document.

 

Let's consider the testing part as Step 4.

 

Wether if you click with the mouse pointer on Field.1 footer or if the user is tabbing through Page 1 of the document and it  lands on Field.1, the narrator will read that required field object (which we already tagged when the document was defined with a PDF tag tree structure (outlined in  Step 1).

 

While if the user clicks on or by way of tabbing the selection lands on any of the Field.2  read-only textfields, the narrator won't read it at all.

 

Only the screen reader assistant visual indicator will become active around that field. But basically the narrator assistant will skip it .

 

 

TO SUMMARIZE:

 

The intent is to allow users to input whatever data needs to be entered on Field.1 footer textfield and populate Field.2 footer field automatically accross all pages with the same value.

 

Deleting the value on Field.1 will also clear Field.2 footer textfield.

 

Clicking on or tabbing to any of the read-only Field.2 footers will be ignored by the narrator assistant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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