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InDesign Cannot Artifact Leader Dots [Accessibility]

Participant ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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InDesign has no way of artifacting leader dots. This can only be done in PDF. Leader dots are commonly used in tables of contents to guide the reader's eye from the end of the entry to the page number. Leader dots are voiced by access technologies such as screen readers and force users with disabilities to hear, "DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT DOT ..." If they are not artifacted. This is a painstaking process that requires InDesign users to learn PDF Remediation, a highly specialized skillset that is typically outside the role of the average Graphic Designer. Currently, the process for artifacting leader dots is to ind the first leader dot in the Tags tree. Right click on it and choose Show in Content Panel. Expand the content containers until you find the first set of leader dots. Right click on them and choose “Create Artifact.” Ignore the options panel and click “OK” to set the artifact. Repeat with all other leader dots. This issue affects EVERY SINGLE InDesign user who is required to make accessible content. Please make artifacting leader dots an option within InDesign so painstaking remediation is not required.

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correct answers 4 Correct answers

Community Expert , Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

@Willi Adelberger, this is a fantastic solution.

And yes, it is automatically done, not manually.

 

Look at Willi's example more carefully:

  • The TOC paragraph style has a nested character style to format the leader rule before the tab stop.
  • The matching nested character style sets the underline to generate a thin, 1/2 point dotted rule.
  • Because InDesign does an excellent job of artifacting all rules (well, in the recent versions of InDesign!) the dotted leader rule is now artifacted.

Thank You

...

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Community Expert , Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

@Bevi Chagnon - PubCom.com Well Bevi, I wrote about that technique on my blog in... 2009 already! 😉

It then became handy again four years ago for accessibility (so I wrote about it again in 2019)

But, in Dutch!

https://fvdgeest-dtp.blogspot.com/2009/06/inhoudsopgave-beter-uitpunten_24.html

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Community Expert , Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

Use a character style to set the underline. The style will automatically artifact it in the PDF.

 

  • New Character Style
  • Name it Underline or whatever you want
  • Set the Underline Options: checkmark to turn it on, and then choose whatever you want for thickness, distance from the baseline, color, etc.

 

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Participant , Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

Oh wow!  Outstanding; Thank you!!

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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<moved from cc desktop ideas>

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Participant ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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This is where Adobe told me to post it after I submitted this in admin console.  🤷

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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Instead of dots use a stroke with a dotted line, as it will increase flexibility. Look at the example.

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Participant ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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Yes, you can do that, and artifact the dotted line.  But you have to do it manually, instead of using a tab stop with a leader dot that is associated with your Paragraph Styles.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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Could also be done with a Character Style applied using a GREP Style within the Paragraph Style.

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Participant ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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That is an intriguing idea!  Do you have a resource on that and is this method confirmed to be accessible?

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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Did you look into the example? I did it automatically.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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@Willi Adelberger, this is a fantastic solution.

And yes, it is automatically done, not manually.

 

Look at Willi's example more carefully:

  • The TOC paragraph style has a nested character style to format the leader rule before the tab stop.
  • The matching nested character style sets the underline to generate a thin, 1/2 point dotted rule.
  • Because InDesign does an excellent job of artifacting all rules (well, in the recent versions of InDesign!) the dotted leader rule is now artifacted.

Thank You Willi!

— Your grateful colleague, Bevi

 

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

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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@Bevi Chagnon - PubCom.com Well Bevi, I wrote about that technique on my blog in... 2009 already! 😉

It then became handy again four years ago for accessibility (so I wrote about it again in 2019)

But, in Dutch!

https://fvdgeest-dtp.blogspot.com/2009/06/inhoudsopgave-beter-uitpunten_24.html

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Community Expert ,
Jul 31, 2023 Jul 31, 2023

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THANK YOU FRANS!

@Frans v.d. Geest 

 

 

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

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Participant ,
Aug 01, 2023 Aug 01, 2023

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This is truly excellent.  I was told this was NOT possible to do in InDesign at an accessibility conference so I reported it.  Thank you for providing this workaround!

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Contributor ,
Aug 24, 2023 Aug 24, 2023

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I'm having a similar problem - underlined text  - the underline needs to be artifacted  in the resultign pdf but I cannot  selct it in the ID file to  set it as artifact - tried  Willi's workaround but it also generated a line that  is seen as a path - someone said ID does an excellent job of artifacting lines - not so -  perhaps an earlier version - certainly not the current version 18.5

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Explorer ,
Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

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Perhaps there's a difference, to InDesign, between a "rule" and a "path". That's the distinction I'm gathering. I still see the paths in the content panel but they don't appear to be in the tags.

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Participant ,
Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

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I have been using an artifacted path with the stroke set to dots but it is very manual to add them as anchored objects on each line.  The GREP method above does work but I haven't had time to study it.  If you use the automatic leader dots with a tab stop, they are not artifacted. Paragraph rules, borders, and shading are automatically artifacted.  You are onto something that did not previously occur to me - you could totally do a paragraph border with the stroke set to dots and play with the offset on it, but that still requires some manual manipulation.  ❤️ It would be most ideal if InDesign had a feature to automatically artifact the leader dots generated by tab stops in tables of contents.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

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quote

Perhaps there's a difference, to InDesign, between a "rule" and a "path".

By @karin.carlson

A path is a vector element. Could be a border, shading inside a frame, underline, rule, the dot leader in a TOC, or a graphic from Illustrator.

 

Rather than draw these elements as independent graphic paths, set them in your Paragraph and Character styles instead because this "renders" a faux underline or border that is artifacted, rather than creating a computer graphic object in the file. They'll look the same, but how they are coded is what makes the difference.

 

Use these settings in your styles:

  • Borders
  • Shading
  • Rules Above/Below
  • Underline (in the text portion)

 

Study the techniques documented above by our colleagues. And use styles, styles, styles, and more styles to end up with the best, most accessible files.

 

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

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Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

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Use a character style to set the underline. The style will automatically artifact it in the PDF.

 

  • New Character Style
  • Name it Underline or whatever you want
  • Set the Underline Options: checkmark to turn it on, and then choose whatever you want for thickness, distance from the baseline, color, etc.

 

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

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Participant ,
Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

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Oh wow!  Outstanding; Thank you!!

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Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2024 Feb 08, 2024

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It is indeed a handy, dandy hack.

Enjoy!

 

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

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