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Table headers fail in Accessibility Checker after September 14, 2021 update

Explorer ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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On September 14, I made accessible a large document with 61 tables.  After properly scoping/tagging tables, I ran the Accessibility Checker and the document passed with no table fails.  On September 15, I reran the Accessibility Checker and there are now 61 fails for table headers even though the tables are tagged properly.  I had someone I work with run the checker on the same document using Adobe Acrobat 2017 and the tables pass with no errors.  What changed with the 9.14.21 update??????

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Sep 29, 2021 Sep 29, 2021

Hi All,
With the September 2021 release, PDFs with missing/incorrect table headers are flagged in the Accessibility Checker and show as failed in the accessibility check result.

We have made some changes for reverting the behaviour of Accessibility Checker to pre-September Release. The details can be found on : https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/table-header-fails-in-accessibility-checker.html


I would suggest you all to use the workaround to avoid detecting the table header related issues. Thank

...

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Community Expert ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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Let me move this to the Acrobat forum for you, which is the appropriate forum for your question.

The Using the Community forum is for help in using the Adobe Support Community forums, not for help with specific programs. Product questions should be posted in the associated product community.

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Explorer ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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Thanks.  Sorry about that!

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Explorer ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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Would you please lelt me know where you moved my question?  I cannot figure out where that is.  Thank you

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Community Expert ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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You're responding to it just fine. If you scroll to the top of the page, you'll see which forum you're in. 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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@Eileen M5E53, the PDF/UA-1 standards were updated after Acrobat 2017 was released. Remember, standards are evolving so what passed 4 years ago might fail today.

 

Plus, Acrobat and its PDF export utilities are continually being upgraded to reflect the standards, correct bugs, and expand the features.

 

Two of those features are Acrobat's built-in Accessibility Checker and the Preflight checker/fixer.

 

For accessible PDFs, we always recommend using the lastest versions of your software so that you're checking and fixing PDFs to the most current standards and requirements. Make sure these programs are up to date:

  • Your source authoring program, such as Word 365 and Adobe InDesign 2021.
  • Your version of Acrobat, and its corresponding utility PDF Maker which comes with Acrobat. Current version is 2021.007.20091 (Windows, might be same for Mac).

 

 

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

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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First of all, I am using Adobe 2021.007.20091 which was updated on 9.14.21. The first document I worked on this week and completed early on 9.14.21 was fixed and passed the Accessibility Checker.  On 9.15.21, it failed.  I also am aware that the 508 standards change often and am required to check those regularly as most of the work I do is for HHS and need to follow their guidelines.  I had a coworker run the Accessibility Checker on the 2017 version just to see if there were issues.

 

Not only is there the table tagging issue, but tagging throughout the document is messed up.  I haven't yet gone through the entire document but many pages are partially tagged which was not the case before the update.  Something is wrong with the 9.14.21 update.

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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Hi Eileen,

 

Thanks for reporting this to us. 

The document you are referring above, is this a specific file causing trouble or are you experiencing this issue with multiple files?

Would you mind checking with an old file you might have had tables in it? Also, is it possible for you to share the screenshot of the Error (when accessibility check failed) or a Video clip of complete workflow?

 

Thanks,

Akanchha 

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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Any document that I have previously worked on, going back to September 2019 now fails, including a table in the screenshots I'm sharing that passed the Accessibility Checker in September 2019 but now doesn't.  I'm unable to share the file because it is confidential but I removed the existing text and replaced each cell with the word text, and have attached screenshots of the table showing Accessibility Checker panel as well as the Tags panel showing the table header rows tagged properly.

 

I appreciate your help.

 

EileenM5E53_2-1631896422475.png

 

 

EileenM5E53_3-1631896471865.png

 

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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Hi Eileen, 

Thanks for sharing the tag structure. The issue is with the tag structure here. <P> tag should not be under <TR> tag directly. You have to keep it under <TD> or <TH> tag. <TR> can only have <TH> or <TD> as its child. As I mentioned below, You can also right click on the error and select "Explain" option to understand why it is failing. Please check the link to check the rules:  https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/editing-document-structure-content-tags.html#correct_table_tag... . We have fixed some issues related to table in this release which was passing Accessibility check for tables without header and for wrong sub tags of table tags. It is mentioned in the release notes as well : https://www.adobe.com/devnet-docs/acrobatetk/tools/ReleaseNotesDC/continuous/dccontinuoussept2021.ht... . 

 

I hope this resolves your issue.

 

Thanks

Rachit

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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I don't know how to make it more clear but the first "P" tag in each table
row is happening since the update on 9.14.21. Any file with tables that
I've worked on in the last 2 years is now tagged this way. It wasn't
before 9.14.21. I've been doing 508 compliance with Adobe for almost 10
years. There is obviously something very wrong with the update that was
done on Tuesday. Is there a way to go back to the version of Adobe I had
on 9.13.21?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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@RachitJain, I'm confirming this bug with Acrobat 2021.007.20091 for a table created in MS Word and exported via PDF Maker 21.7.123 (Windows 64 bit).

 

Every header row is flagged as "failed," shown above in the poster's screen capture. For the poster and her 60-page table, she'll have that error 60 times.

 

Running Acrobat's Preflight for PDF/UA reports that everything passed and the PDF identifier was included in the file: however, the Accessibility Checker still flags the header rows as errors but  other 3rd party checkers no longer report the error.

 

The 2 different assessments by the 2 programs is concerning.

 

No additional information is given in Acrobat about why the headers are being flagged as errors.

 

However, after examining our test files in other checkers, they show the headers are missing the Header IDs that associate them with specific data cells (this is not the same as scope and span). This is incorrect per the PDF/UA-1 standard: simple tables with simple header rows do not require header IDs and their associations with TDs.

 

After performing the Analyze/Fix routines in Preflight PDF/UA, the resulting file then passes the 3rd party checker, but not Acrobat's accessibility checker.

 

Can this error be escalated? It's extremely concerning that a basic, structured table could produce these errors in the first place, and also that they can't be corrected by the poster.

 

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

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Explorer ,
Sep 19, 2021 Sep 19, 2021

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Do you have any idea as to when this issue will be fixed? Is it possible to
go back to the version of Adobe before the 9.14.21 update?

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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Hi Eileen, 

Please check if the table has Table Header tag in the table. You can check in the Tags Panel. You can also right click on the error and select "Explain" option to understand why it is failing.

If this does not resolves the issue, then please share the accessible document on which you facing this issue via a cloud link so that we can check it and provide solution to this.

 

Thanks

Rachit

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Community Expert ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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quote

What changed with the 9.14.21 update??????

By @Eileen M5E53

 

Adobe has been incorporating updates to the ISO PDF/UA accessibility standards into their Acrobat checker and preflight utilities. They've also corrected some "shortcomings."

 

So what used to pass older Acrobat checkers (ie 2017) might not pass today's checker. The solution is to either remediate the PDF in Acrobat and other tools, or return to the source document file, correct the table structure there, and re-PDF it with the newest version of PDFMaker (or InDesign's export utility).

 

What was the exact error you received on the table headers?

If you can, give us a screen capture of the error message, and also of a sample table header that's failing. Will try to diagnose what's throwing the error.

 

— Bevi

Member of the international ISO committees that writes the standards that are giving you a big headache! <grin>

Also a hands-on designer and PDF remediation expert.

 

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

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Community Expert ,
Sep 16, 2021 Sep 16, 2021

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@Eileen M5E53, and do you know what was the source authoring program for the PDF?

Was it exported from MS Word or Adobe InDesign?

 

And how was it PDF'd from the source program:

  • Acrobat Ribbon / Create PDF
  • File / Save As Adobe PDF
  • File / Save as ... Microsoft PDF
  • Something else?

 

Each of these affect how the PDF was encoded, especially for tables.

 

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

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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EileenM5E53_0-1631904373279.png

The "P" tags with PathPathPath are now appearing in every table row.  That wasn't the case before the update.  It's a tagging problem

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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@RachitJain, this error is caused by the last few versions of PDF Maker, since around version 19-ish. Just tested it with PDF Library 21.7.123 and it is still creating this pathpathpath junk in every row in a Word table. 

 

It's an exceptionally nasty bug that doesn't have a fix. Even Acrobat's Preflight tool (Mark all non-structure elements as artifact) doesn't identify and artifact them.

 

See our report of this bug and sample documents at https://acrobat.uservoice.com/forums/590923-acrobat-for-windows-and-mac/suggestions/43718661-pdf-tab...  Please let me know if you need any more documentation on this bug.

 

InDesign and it's PDF Export utility do not create this error in tables.

Unnecessary cell borders are in the tag tree; should be artifacted.Unnecessary cell borders are in the tag tree; should be artifacted.

@Eileen M5E53, unfortunately, we don't have any quick fix for this error. In our shop, we manually select each <P> and artifact it. Otherwise text-to-speech AT voice it for every row, "path path path path". Gah!  I know that's a daunting task for your 60-page table; you have my empathy! 

 

—Bevi Chagnon

US Delegate to the ISO committees for PDF and PDF/UA

 

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

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Explorer ,
Sep 17, 2021 Sep 17, 2021

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How can I get a prior version before this bug was created?

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Adobe Employee ,
Sep 20, 2021 Sep 20, 2021

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Hi Eileen

Can you please share a sample Word file with which you are observing tagging issues?

Thanks

Tanvi

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Explorer ,
Sep 20, 2021 Sep 20, 2021

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Tanvi:

Would you please look at the post below 9.17.21 from Bevi?

EileenM5E53_0-1632160277549.png

As I said in a prior message, I cannot share my document because it is proprietary and confidential.  I cleared one table in a document and sent screenshots of the Accessibility Panel, the Tag Structure Panel and the tagging error issues.

I have attached the one-page, cleared table so you can see the issue.

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New Here ,
Sep 20, 2021 Sep 20, 2021

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I'm so glad I found this page. I'm having the same issue. I'll manually remove the added P tag for now. Is there an update with a fix planned anytime soon?

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 21, 2021 Sep 21, 2021

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@defaultq0xq7x8h2yj0,

Adobe will have to answer your question about when this error will be fixed. My crystal ball isn't working too well these days.

 

But in the meantime, I want to make sure that folks manually correct the <P>PathPathPath... tags the right way to prevent more accessibility errors.

 

Don't just delete the <P>: you'll cause accessibility errors because there will now be untagged content in your file. PDF accessibility standards require that all content — even the crud <P>PathPathPath... — must be tagged. At this time, artifacting puts an attribute on the tag that hides the content, rather than deletes it.

 

Note to Adobe: each segment of the row's borders is tagged as a "Path," including the top and bottom cell borders and the left and right borders.

 

How to manualy fix this:

  1. Select the <P> and expand it to show the yellow content container.

    Expand the <P> tag to expose the yellow content container.Expand the <P> tag to expose the yellow content container.

  2. Select the tag's yellow content container, right-click, and select Create Artifact.

    Artifact the CONTENT CONTAINER, not the tag.Artifact the CONTENT CONTAINER, not the tag.
  3. Select Page from the popup dialogue box and ignore the selections on the right of this dialogue.

    Error-TablePaths_03.png
  4. You'll now be left with an empty <P> (no yellow content container, and no gray expansion arrow on its left).
  5. Since the <P> is now empty, it can be deleted. Select it, hit your DEL key or delete it from the tag panel's options menu.

 

Remember, only empty tags (without yellow content containers) can be deleted.

 

** See a more detailed and lengthy description of this bug at: https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat-discussions/alt-text-converting-wrong-from-word-to-pdf/m-p/12...

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

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New Here ,
Sep 22, 2021 Sep 22, 2021

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I tried this just now Bevi and upon clicking the pathpathpath stuff and change tag to artifact it still remains unlike other times I've done that sort of change in Acrobat Pro.  Upon clicking either the pathpathpath and picking properties or clicking what still shows as a <P> both now show artifact in properties but I'm used to it then disappearing from the tags tree leaving the empty <P> tag that I can then do the delete empty tags.  (scratches head and again wishes that working with Acrobat Pro and PDFs was more like working with html.  Before hitting send on this I change it back to a Paragraph tag and then the second attempt to make it an artifact then worked and I had the emptpy <P> tag I could properly remove.  Will there be one of these oddities we have to manually do for each border throughout the table?  I'll see if I can get one of my 45 tables in my current PDF to no longer show up in the Accessibility check results.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 22, 2021 Sep 22, 2021

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@Douglass5C39, Yes, it's becoming harder to artifact anything in Acrobat, especially after this last update.

 

I suspect that Adobe is working on the concept of what an artifact is and how it will be dealt with. Royal PITA — pain in the anatomy.

 

We're now artifacting the crud via the Content panel. Locate the yellow content container box you want to artifact, right-click, artifact, and continue. That method usually leaves you with the empty <P> in the Tag Tree that you can now safely delete.

 

Over the past 2 years, Adobe seems to have finally completely broken artifacts in PDF and the tools we use to designate artifacts.

 

Dear Adobe gods: why did you do this to us?

Don't we sacrifice enough to you each month with your pricey subscription fees?

 

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

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