Accessibility – Article panel won't tag

Explorer ,
May 03, 2021 May 03, 2021

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Hi,

I'm working on a 30 pg document that needs to be an accessible pdf. Typically I link text boxes and add to the articles panel, always with "Use for Tagging Order in Tagged PDF" selected. In a large document I will break it up into sections. I've used the articles panel many times and have never had an issue.

 

Article Panel currently consists of:

 

Article 1: Cover

Article 2: Table of Contents

Article 3: Pages 2-15

Article 4: Pages 16-26

Article 5: Glossary

Article 6: Back Cover

 

For some reason, it will not tag Article 4. When I open the pdf, all other articles are tagged except #4 – Article 4 doesn't exist. Nothing on pages 16-26 is particularly complex, just text and some tables that are embedded in the text box (which also occurs in Article 3).

 

InDesign 16.0.2

 

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

 

 

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Import and export, Publish online

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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Why not patch to the current 16.2.1

Also

Export the document to IDML; then reopen and resave as the INDD file.

Try the export again after all that.

Mike Witherell

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Explorer ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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I've tried that (IDML) and it didn't work.

 

The InDesign export to interactive pdf is quite buggy I find. I also have issues with text not showing up. Like one paragraph in a text box. Or a whole page of text. Constantly have to either make new text boxes and reflow copy or in one case I had to put the one paragraph in a separate text box and embed it into the existing text box.

 

I will try the patch...

 

Thanks 🙂

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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The Articles Panel is a flakey tool, very tempermental, and often misses content. Don't use it unless you have to for your particular style of design. It's not required to export an accessible PDF.

 

Here's our list of to-do actions when using it. For everyone reading this thread now and in the future, make sure you haven't skipped any steps.

  1. When you create a new Article, check to box to Include When Exporting.
    Articles Panel task #1.Articles Panel task #1.
  2. Before exporting to PDF, check to Use for Reading Order in Tagged PDF in the panel's Options drop-down menu.
    Articles Panel task #2.Articles Panel task #2.

  3. Make sure every individual text frame, graphic frame, and threaded series of text frames is dragged into the Articles Panel.
  4. Check your export tags to ensure no text is mistakenly set to tag as Artifact. Paragraph Styles, Options, Edit All Export Tags.
    Edit All Export Tags on your styles.Edit All Export Tags on your styles.
  5. Click on the missing untagged frames and check their Export Options, making sure none are set to Artifact.
    Artifacts on frames.Artifacts on frames.

 

And, the most fool-proof way to make accessible documents is to control your linked story threads (for the Tag Reading Order) and Paragraph Styles (for the tags themselves). If you can, avoid using the Articles panel entirely.

Hope this helps.

 

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

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Explorer ,
Jun 10, 2021 Jun 10, 2021

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Hi Bevi,

 

Thanks for the detailed explanation.

 

As noted in my original post, I had "Export tags for PDF" checked off. I also went through everything with a fine tooth comb. Multiple times. Eventually the Articles section just decided to show up, after numerous exports.

 

However I'm still struggling with some text boxes in different docs that will not show up in the tags. Sometimes creating a new text boxes helps (and no, the text boxes were not tagged as artifacts).

 

In one strange case, one paragraph in a text box would not tag - so the box def. wasn't tagged as an artifact if the rest of the copy showed up. Just this one paragraph. It was properly tagged in the paragraph styles. I had to make a separate text box and embed it into the existing text box for it to tag.

 

I'm not sure how to not use the Articles panel. For one thing, it's very handy for long documents as far as organization is concerned. Also for this particular client, they do not use the Reading Order in the pdf (which I don't blame them because it's a complete nightmare to use in my experience).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2021 Jun 24, 2021

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quote

As noted in my original post, I had "Export tags for PDF" checked off. @Oriana808

 

Great. That's step 1 in the above list.

But did you also do step 2?

 

quote

However I'm still struggling with some text boxes in different docs that will not show up in the tags. Sometimes creating a new text boxes helps (and no, the text boxes were not tagged as artifacts).

In one strange case, ...

 

What you describe sounds bizare, and without looking at your INDD file, there's no way to determine what's causing the strange behavior. We do a lot of forensics on INDD files at my shop, and most times we find that things like this have two causes (one or both): user error, or some strange coding that got into the file, such as code crud that came in via an imported Word file or a copy/paste.

 

quote

I'm not sure how to not use the Articles panel. For one thing, it's very handy for long documents as far as organization is concerned.

 

I'm 3/4 into teaching my Accessible InDesign class, and I haven't yet covered using the Articles Panel. That gives you a clue what I think about that tool!  It has very limited usefulness, other than to organize the tags tree for those who look at the tags tree  -- which is only those of us who either create content (like with InDesign) or who check and remediate PDFs. It has absolutely no purpose for any assistive technology at this time because although the <Art>/articles tag is a valid accessibility tag, it's not recognized by any assistive technology I know.

 

So if you don't need to organize the tags tree for YOUR benefit, or you don't need it to control the layout and tags, then just ignore the Articles Panel. It has way too many quirks and not enough benefits to justify its use in most documents. Threading your story frames and anchoring graphics and sidebar text boxes is a much more productive (and easier) way to get the correct TAG reading order.

 

And the architectural / construction reading order is controled by the stacking order in the Layers panel, not the Articles panel.

quote

Also for this particular client, they do not use the Reading Order in the pdf (which I don't blame them because it's a complete nightmare to use in my experience).

 

First, which reading order? There are 4 reading orders in a PDF: tag RO, TAB RO, architectural/construction RO, and form field RO. See a recent blog post from my shop about the different reading orders and why they're all required for accessibility: https://www.pubcom.com/blog/2020_08-18_ReadingOrder/reading-orders.shtml

 

When you say "they do not use the Reading Order," I have to ask: is your client using an assistive technology? RO's are used only by assistive technologies.

 

If instead they are making PDFs and publishing them to the public, then it's not their choice to use or not use one RO versus another. The reading orders are not there for the publisher: they're used by those with disabilities who use various assistive technologies  to view and use the PDF, and those different assistive technologies will use either the Tag RO, the TAB RO, or the architectural / construction RO to access, view, and interact with the PDF.

 

We publishers and designers don't get to tell our audience which technology to use to access the PDF. That would probably violate ADA laws.

 

From time to time, my shop and its corporate partners offer free 1-hour webinars on basic concepts like this. They're great for managers and might be helpful for your client.

 

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

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 24, 2021 Jun 24, 2021

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And @Oriana808, I hope this long explanation helps clarify some of the details of accessible PDFs from InDesign.

 

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

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