I'm using Indesign + Acrobat Pro DC to create an accessible pdf form. My issue starts with the accessibility checker - Tabbing order. When checking the form order, everything seems to be in the correct order, so I go into page properties and change each page's tab order to "Use Document Structure". This ends up forces the tabbing order to change in the forms section. I should note that when I change page 2 to Use Document Structure it changes the tabbing order on page 1 to make it incorrect. I've made sure that the tabbing order was correct in Indesign before doing anything in Acrobat. Re-ordering the tabs manually after this breaks a few tagged form fields. Fixing these problems and making sure the document tabs properly ends up creating an endless loop of problems between tabbing order + tagged form fields, and re-arranging the tabbing order to the correct order.
Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated.
You can also control the read order and tagging order by putting all of your content in InDesign's "Articles" pane and choose the "use for tagging order in tagged PDF" option inside the drop-down menu of the Articles pane.
For threaded content, you only need to put the first text frame into the Articles pane. So, for a threaded book, only the first frame is necessary + all other individual items (like table of contents or a call out box). Using the Articles pane is GREAT when you have a newsletter (for example) that has a variety of text frames in a variety of locations all over the page. YOU get to decide the read order INSIDE the ARTICLES pane. Simple drop and drag into the Article pane, then drag them into any order you choose.
The articles pane will let you select and drag items into the order you want on your PDF output. But don't forget to CHOOSE the "use for tagging order in tagged PDF" option inside the drop-down menu of the Articles pane (see image attached).
To be clear, the Articles panel in InDesign will only control your Tag order, not the Reading Order. Reading Order in InDesign is controlled via the Layers panel.
Forgot to mention, on most PDFs, if the "tab order" has a fail indicator after running the Accessiblity Checker, a simple Control+Click ("CTRL" on PC) on the error will open a pop-up menu that gives you the option to "Fix"....and it does (it specifies the tab order to follow the document structure) and the error goes away and gives you a green checkmark.
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
No need for manually fixing from top to bottom.
However, if the order of your document structure was bad to begin with in your source file, then this error will go away, but your read order will follow that of your source file....and if it was bad, then the read order in the PDF is also bad.
You have to adjust the tab order directly in InDesign because any changes with Acrobat Pro irreparably messes up all the tags. Read this topic to understand how big your unhappiness is: