Using Accessibility tools in Acrobat DC crashes

Explorer ,
Apr 12, 2021 Apr 12, 2021

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I'm stuck here. I need to make ADA compliant PDFs for work, but version 2021.001.20145 crashes endlessly when I try to use the Accessibility tools. If I drag the read order of certain elements on the page it crashes. I'm also wondering now what the point is of the tools in Indesign as half or more of the tags set in Indesign get completely ignored when exporting an interactive PDF. I can reproduce this on several macs. It's been that way for several years too. Regardless of that issue, the crashing is keeping me from doing my job at all now as I can't even get a single PDF authored correctly and have it pass a scan because fixing it crashes Acrobat.

I love Adobe, but more and more it seems like all my apps are getting worse in the quality control area.

 

I'm on Big Sur 11.2.3 on a 2019 Intel 8 core i9 MacBook Pro with 16 gig of ram. This used to work fine, now it doesn't. Help!

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Crash or freeze, Edit and convert PDFs, Standards and accessibility

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Adobe Community Professional , Apr 16, 2021 Apr 16, 2021
That's one of the saddest stories I've read! Below, some workarounds that might help get you a more stable design environment. (I'm a former Apple and Microsoft dealer, systems integrator for design software, and beta tester for many companies. And accessibility expert.)   Traditonally, InDesign has been more stable on Windows than on Apple. I don't know if that's an Apple thing or an Adobe thing, but we run both operating systems in my shop and all our Macs are dual-boot workstations (via BootC...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 12, 2021 Apr 12, 2021

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... If I drag the read order of certain elements on the page it crashes.

By @bpeat

 

Report the crashing bug to Adobe at www.Acrobat.UserVoice.com  This is a user-to-user volunteer forum, and Adobe's engineers to not regularly view this forum.

Suggestion: see if you can roll back to 2020 version through your Creative Cloud subscription manager.

 

quote

I'm also wondering now what the point is of the tools in Indesign as half or more of the tags set in Indesign get completely ignored when exporting an interactive PDF.

By @bpeat

 

Yes, been asking a similar question about this for the past 10 years. My question is more like, "what moran thought giving us only 1/4 of the PDF/UA-1 tag set would be sufficient?"

Adobe now follows a vote-based rating system. Features and bug fixes are addressed based on how many votes they get at UserVoice.com. (Not my choice, but this is how Adobe now works.)

 

So if you'd like to see a better set of tags available in InDesign's Export Tagging utility, then...

Vote for it!

To help the accessibility community, my firm maintains a clearninghouse webpage to keep track of the different feature requests for accessibility tools: www.PubCom.com/vote  This features is the second from the top. While there, look at some of the others on the page and vote them up, too.

 

  Tell your mother to vote. Your cat, dog, parakeet. Tell everyone to vote.

We need to get these vote counts much higher in order for us to get the tools we need to do our jobs.

 

quote

I'm on Big Sur 11.2.3 on a 2019 Intel 8 core i9 MacBook Pro with 16 gig of ram. This used to work fine, now it doesn't. Help!

By @bpeat

 

Adobe has not yet released an update to InDesign that accommodates Apple's newest OS, Big Sur. Tons of info on this forum and others. Roll back to InDesign 2020 until a new version of InDesign, geared for Big Sur, is released probably in the fall.

 

FYI, whenever any company releases a brand new operating system, always wait 4-6 months to install it because software companies like Adobe need time to retool for it. Small incremental updates are fine, but Big Sur is a complete overhaul of the Apple OS, is intended to replace the 20-year-old OS X, and is designed for Apple's new M-1 processor.

 

Hint: Do some research before you upgrade.

 

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

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Explorer ,
Apr 13, 2021 Apr 13, 2021

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Are you sure you haven't confused Big Sur with the Apple M1 chip?

 

This page shows Adobe clearly says their CC apps work on Big Sur (with a few issues here and there)

https://helpx.adobe.com/download-install/kb/macos-big-sur.html

 

InDesign hasn't been updated for the M1 chip, but that isn't actually my issue anyway, Acrobat is the issue and I'm not on an M1 machine. The bugs with InDesign's tags and ADA have been there for years, through multiple OSs. My issue is with this specific release of Acrobat (the previous Acrobat release on Big Sur worked fine).

 

I'm going to see if I can roll it back, but to say that Creative Cloud shouldn't be used on a 4 month old OS release on a machine that's NOT Apple Silicon isn't really true.

 

As far as the other suggestions, thank you, if I can't get this working I'll post on User Voice.

 

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 13, 2021 Apr 13, 2021

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Are you sure you haven't confused Big Sur with the Apple M1 chip?

 

Nope! We haven't.

We're beta-testers for many software/hardware companies, and we're system integrators.

 

Big Sur is Apple OS 11 -- and OS X is being retired after 20 years.

Big Sur was designed to max its performance on Apple's new M1 ARM (Silicon) processor.

 

The new OS and the new processor are a pair of technologies designed to usher in Apple's plans for future technologies. ... "This means that macOS 11 Big Sur is optimized specifically for the M1 processor" (from https://9to5mac.com/guides/apple-silicon/).

 

So whether you just use Big Sur/OS 11 on an older Intel proessor, or you've upgraded to an M1 ARM chip with Big Sur/OS 11, either way the OS has major deviations from the now-outdated OS X. Consequently, these changes require major revisions by software manufacturers, including Adobe.

 

And those changes aren't yet done yet. (in spring 2021)

 

quote

This page shows Adobe clearly says their CC apps work on Big Sur (with a few issues here and there)

https://helpx.adobe.com/download-install/kb/macos-big-sur.html

By @bpeat

 

Ha ha ha, yeah, well, that's Adobe!

Can't say more in this public forum, but you can search here for problems with InDesign and Acrobat running on Big Sur since its release in November.

 

Basically, InDesign and Acrobat 2021 are crashing like he!! on Big Sur (with or without the M1 chip) and users are rolling back to 2020 versions until retooled, more stable versions are released from Adobe. They will be released, but keep in mind that Big Sur is a Big Change from the previous OS X, and all software companies (not just Adobe) need time to retool for it.

 

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

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Explorer ,
Apr 16, 2021 Apr 16, 2021

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I used to be an Apple consultant, but I also tend to be a risk taker, so while I tell others not to update, I tend to update or upgrade. But this worked several weeks ago, and now it's a lesson in frustration. At this point, I simply can't make ADA compliant PDFs using Adobe's tools. InDesign doesn't crash, but it's possible it's putting something bad in the PDFs I export (both through the normal preset menu or the Export menu). Interactive PDFs come over missing tags. Fresh, new PDFs just exported using a preset I have start out fine in Acrobat, but quickly either lose graphics randomly, crash incessently or just don't work properly. Drag an element in the reading order, it might work, but it will probably crash. Try to remove an element from the page structure? Nope, does nothing. Periodically a giant figure box appears over every page in the entire PDF as one object. Meaning you can zoom out and there's a single figure box over the entire view of all pages.

 

I downloaded Acrobat 2020. Same issue, which makes me think it's Indesign (or Big Sur, but it worked fine a few weeks ago). Maybe Apple broke something in the most recent Big Sur update. But it seems to be ONLY the Accessibility tools that aren't working right.

 

I'm going to try to roll back Indesign or open a PDF in Preview and resave it just to see if that works as a better base, but honestly, at this point I'm praying someone out there actually makes a BETTER tool for making ADA compliant PDFs than Adobe.

 

I know, I know, I should have researched it...but it worked a few weeks ago well enough that I could get my work done. Now? Completely useless. Sorry, I'm venting now. I need to take a lunch break, calm down and then see if I can contact Adobe support directly and send them some crash info and see if they can help.

 

Oh, the icing on the cake? Acrobat crashes over and over but the crash report popups don't appear right away. A few minutes later I'll get like 10 of them in a row as I'm trying to work. It's like Acrobat is saying "you think you were frustrated before? Lol, watch this!"

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 16, 2021 Apr 16, 2021

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That's one of the saddest stories I've read! Below, some workarounds that might help get you a more stable design environment. (I'm a former Apple and Microsoft dealer, systems integrator for design software, and beta tester for many companies. And accessibility expert.)

 

  1. Traditonally, InDesign has been more stable on Windows than on Apple. I don't know if that's an Apple thing or an Adobe thing, but we run both operating systems in my shop and all our Macs are dual-boot workstations (via BootCamp). When the InDesign/Acrobat combo is unstable on our Macs, we reboot into Windows (on the same workstation) and the problems, usually, are eliminated. Remember, you get 2 installations with your Creative Cloud subscription so you can have Indy installed on your Windows partition as well as on your Mac partition. I know BootCamp isn't included in Big Sur, but Parallels just announced their emulator (See this Gizmodo review https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2021/04/you-can-now-run-windows-10-on-apples-m1-macs-sort-of/). Given the behemoth files we process, I prefer to run Windows natively via BootCamp, and I'm hoping that the great hackers who originally created it will release it for Silicon. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boot_Camp_(software).
  2. The Made To Tag plugin by Axaio Software is an excellent accessible PDF tool. https://www.axaio.com/doku.php/en:products:madetotag  I don't know if they've retooled for M1/Big Sur, but worth looking into. It always creates a cleaner tag tree than Adobe's PDF exporter that's built into InDesign. The programming team behind the software is excellent and also produces many of the industry's pre-press tools. And MTT was picked up by QuarkXPress for its accessibility tool set. The company's founder is a former member of the ISO committee that writes the PDF/UA-1 accessibility specification.
  3. I don't have a recommendation for correcting PDF's idosyncracies, but look into any of the following tools that can help:

 

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

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Explorer ,
Apr 20, 2021 Apr 20, 2021

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Thank you! I tested Made To Tag and it works great. I've put in a request to purchase this, so hopefully my company will get me a copy so I can keep my sanity and put out better PDFs too.

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