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Alt text for figures in InDesign not reading aloud when PDF is opened in a web browser

New Here ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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Using Adobe InDesign 24, I've set alt text for my figures using Object Export Options (repeated in both the Alt Text and Tagged PDF tabs). It works fine when reading out loud when the file opened in Adobe Acrobat or Reader. But if the user opens the file in a web browser, the alt text is not read out loud. Is there a fix for this?

Thanks!

Mary

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Community Expert ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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Not all PDF readers are the same, by a long shot. Acrobat is the official tool and the only fully standards-compliant one; if something does not work in Acrobat Reader or Pro, there is likely a fault with the file itself.

 

However, all third-party readers and PDF tools, and especially those embedded in browsers, are often lacking the full feature set or a faultless implementation of features they do have. Very few "advanced" features like forms, interactivity, animation or accessibility are well-supported in either mobile or web readers.

 

There is no solution except to have users use Acrobat (and I am not sure the browser plugin is as fully-featured as the app, at that.)

 

But if there's a fix, I'd bet @Bevi Chagnon - PubCom.com knows what it is.


┋┊ InDesign to Kindle (& EPUB): A Professional Guide, v3.0 ┊ (Amazon) ┊┋

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New Here ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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Thanks David. At least I can tell my client it's not MY fault! 🙂

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Community Expert ,
Dec 18, 2023 Dec 18, 2023

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@James Gifford—NitroPress is correct: I don't know of any browser that is fully compliant with the PDF/UA standard for accessibility. Reading Alt Text, changing language pronunciation, filling in form fields and a whole lot more features won't be found in browsers at this time. Maybe in the future, but there's nothing requiring them to become compliant.

 

True testing can only be done with a combination of compliant software and assistive technologies:

  • JAWS and NVDA screen readers while in Adobe Acrobat Pro, Standard, or Reader.
  • Any other combination will be hit and miss.
quote

Using Adobe InDesign 24, I've set alt text for my figures using Object Export Options (repeated in both the Alt Text and Tagged PDF tabs).

By Mary @ RockHarbor.biz

 

Just in the Alt Text tab. Skip the middle Tagged PDF tab for Alt Text.

 

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

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New Here ,
Dec 19, 2023 Dec 19, 2023

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Thanks Bevi!  I looked at your Accessible InDesign + PDF book and would like to know if you plan to update it for v24? Or if you plan to publish as an ebook?

 

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Participant ,
Dec 19, 2023 Dec 19, 2023

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Hi Mary @ RockHarbor.biz, yes. My Accessible InDesign + PDF workbook is being revised as I type! New 2024 version will be out early in 2024.

 

But frankly, there's not much that Adobe has change (in terms of accessibility) in the past few years and we have an addendum to the current book that includes those changes.

 

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