Restore "artefacted" object

Community Beginner ,
Sep 08, 2020 Sep 08, 2020

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Hello,

Sometimes an object in a pdf file is designated as an artefact, but it shouldn’t be. It should be a ‘normal’ object because it would have meaning for the all readers, including people with a speech or braille tool, especially when I would add an alternative text. The situation can be a result of the conversion from the source program, or I have marked an object as an artefact and later regret it.

 

Now I have difficulties changing those objects and making them available to users of accessibility tools. In the Content panel, I can click on those items and choose ‘remove Artifact’. After that, it is shown in that panel as a ‘normal’ object. However, in its window, all fields are greyed out. The former artefacts don’t show up in the Tags panel either (which was the whole point of the change).

 

So designating an object as an artefact looks like a one-way change. Does somebody know how to make it a two-way action?

 

Best regards,

Bram

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How to, Standards and accessibility

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2020 Sep 08, 2020

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Use the reading order tools (aka, Touch Up Reading Order) in the Order panel.

  1. From the Order panel's options menu, select Show Reading Order Panel.
  2. Use your cursor to draw/select the item you want to un-artifact.
  3. From the Order Panel, select what item/tag you want it to have, such as Text <P> or <Figure>.

 

The tagged item should now appear in the Tags tree. You might have to drag the tag up/down in the tag tree to correct its reading order.

Touch Up Reading Order tools.Touch Up Reading Order tools.       TURO-02.png

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs |
Books & Classes | PubCom

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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Thanks, this seems to be a good solution in most cases. But I remember that I asked this question because the ‘Touch Up Reading Order’ tool did not work good in all situations.

Sometimes it messes with the content itself. For example a figure defined in an ‘Form XObject’, disappeared completely from the page when I tried to tag it with that tool. The other, more cumbersome solution I discovered later (with ‘Find element’, see my message below) works better in those problem cases.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2020 Sep 08, 2020

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A few days ago this was discussed as a known bug, since removing an object like that  messes up the tagging structure throughout the document.

 

This is definitely unchartered waters for me too, but I would say that instead of removing any artifacts run a full check with the Accessibility Checker tool and spot discrepancies.

 

This will aid you in figuring out what exactly needs to be addressed. See ere: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/create-verify-pdf-accessibility.html

 

As a matter of fact, instead of just removing the artifacts you may need to change the artifact type to work around this issue. And in the  worse case scenario, when everything else fails, recreating the PDF from scratch may be the only way to go at this point.

 

Please see if any of  these additional  guidances are relevant :

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 08, 2020 Sep 08, 2020

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Quote: "A few days ago this was discussed as a known bug, since removing an object like that messes up the tagging structure throughout the document."

 

Curious: where was this discussed? Would like to read the thread and discussion.

 

FYI, PDF/UA-1 has always required that all objects be tagged. The choices are:

  • whether it will be tagged with one of the standard tags (P, H1, L, etc.),
  • or tagged with a custom tag (not recommended at this time because AT can't recognize them yet),
  • or artifacted.

 

Removing the object, rather than tagging or artifacting it, will definitely foul up the tag tree and its accessibility.

All PDF objects must be tagged or artifacted. That's not a recent bug, but a long-standing requirement of the standard.

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs |
Books & Classes | PubCom

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 09, 2020 Sep 09, 2020

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Yes, of course.

 

Here's the thread :

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/losing-tags-after-editing-document-in-acrobat-dc/m-p/11412765... 

 

You mentioned about it.

 

But in that thread the user was losing tagged content and not having the ability to fix it without the rest of the  content getting messed up in an irreversible way.

 

This is  what I understood this current discussion was all about since the user did mentioned artifacts are not showing up in the content panel.

 

I apologize if this is off the main topic but I thought the user could've find that other discussion insightful.

 

The other thread that I was following is about another user who brought forward a similar observation.

 

He suspects is a bug (which could also be related in some way to this conversation) and he mentions about decorative artifacts that doesn't get tagged with the appropriate artifact when he tried to fix something and consequently it messes up the whole content:

 

 

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/fixing-decorative-items-creates-lt-artifact-gt-tag/m-p/113997... 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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...

Here's the thread :

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/losing-tags-after-editing-document-in-acrobat-dc/m-p/11412765... 

You mentioned about it.

But in that thread the user was losing tagged content and not having the ability to fix it without the rest of the  content getting messed up in an irreversible way.

 

This is  what I understood this current discussion was all about since the user did mentioned artifacts are not showing up in the content panel.

By @ls_rbls

 

The referenced post was about a severe bug in Acrobat that horribly messes up the tags tree when Acrobat's Edit PDF tools are used to edit the live content on the page. Specifically, you end up with empty content container boxes in the tags and in the Contents panel, and sometimes mis-tagged lists and tables.

Examples:

  • Adding and deleting text.
  • Changing text.

The whole tag structure (or parts of it if you're lucky) are blown out and it's tough to fix the PDF's accessibility.

 

On the other hand, this particular post is about un-artifacting an element in the PDF.

And that's not an easy-enough task to do, as well!

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs |
Books & Classes | PubCom

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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You’re right that all elements should have a tag unless they are designated as an artefact. That’s why I asked this question. I searched for a way to convert an artefact into a normal object and ‘Remove artifact’ seemed to be a first step, as I explain in my message below.

 

‘Remove artifact’ however does not mean that the object itself is removed, so your phrase “Removing the object” is not applicable. The name of this command is a little confusing. The basic meaning is that the artifact status of the object is removed. In fact an ‘artifacted’ object is part of an ‘artifact container’ in the content panel, which can contain one or more objects, for example figures or page footers. When ‘removing’ the artifact, it is that container which is removed. The underlying objects will rise a level in the hierarchy; often they will go to be immediately under the page level.

 

So far so good, but they are still missing in the Codes panel and it is not possible to add metadata like an alt text, because apparently that is only possible for objects which are present in the Codes panel.

 

I wonder what’s the use of the Remove artifact option if it does not convert the artifact mark into a normal tag. Are there any situations where this is good, even as an intermediate status? It makes the tagging process more complex.

 

It could also be useful if artefacts could keep the alternative texts which were defined before turning an object into an artefact, in case the accessibility worker changes his of her mind later.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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Hello,

 

Thank you all for your answers. It took some time (and some more to get back at this thread), but I’ve also found a solution: the ‘Find element’ command. With the option “Find Unmarked Content” or the default option “Find Artifacts” (it depends on the situation which one works best). After finding the intended element, choose ‘Tag element’ and Acrobat will create a new tag.

 

The ‘Find element’ command can be called both in the Content or Codes panel, but the last one is the best choice because that way the new tag will be approximately at the right place in the tags list. Doing it from the Content panel will add the new tag at the very end of the list.

 

Still annoying is that Acrobat will wander through all artifacts of untagged content on the page, also the ones that really need to be artifacts. There should be an easier way to achieve the goal: ‘removal’ of the artifact status should have the extra effect of adding a tag for the element.

 

Note that I tried ‘Remove Artifact’ because this was the only option to ‘undo artifacts’ which is easy to find. It does not mean that the object itself is removed. The name of this command is a little confusing. The basic meaning is that the artifact status of the object is removed. The element itself in the content panel is not touched.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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Do you mean the Tags panel, instead of the Codes panel?

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs |
Books & Classes | PubCom

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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Yes, sorry, the Dutch version of Acrobat uses the name “Codes” for the Tags panel. I switched to English to see the terms to use in this conversation but forgot to check this one.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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See Create a tag from an artifact for another thread about this problem.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 02, 2021 Mar 02, 2021

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The whole process of creating artifacts or de-artifacting elements has gone wonky in the past couple of releases of Acrobat DC Pro.

 

Tools that used to work, now don't. Or work sometimes. Especially true when working in the Order panel and with the Touch Up Order tools.

 

Here's what is working for our shop at this time (Early 2021, Acrobat version 2021).

 

To Artifact an element:

  1. From the Tags panel, select the tag to be artifacted. It will be highlighted in magenta in the page content.
  2. Expand the tag and expose the yellow bankers box (the content container).
  3. Right-click on the yellow bankers box (not the tag itself) and select Change  Tag to Artifact.
  4. The tag will now appear empty (no expansion arrow on the left, and no yellow bankers box nested inside).
  5. Delete the empty tag.

 

To un-Artifact an element:

  1. From the Content panel, select the element to be re-tagged (un-artifacted).
  2. Right-click on the yellow bankers box (content container) and select Remove Artifact.
  3. It will now appear tagged in the Tags panel, usually as <P>.
  4. Edit the tag as needed, <H1>, <Caption>, etc.

 

Of course, the best solution is always to make a good, accessible source document where you control what is artifacted and what is tagged.

 

For those who are new here, anything in a Word header or footer will automatically be artifacted in the PDF. And anything in InDesign's Master Pages will automatically be artifacted, too. 

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs |
Books & Classes | PubCom

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