Problem with role mapping paragraph styles to tags, from InDesign to PDF.

Explorer ,
Aug 24, 2020 Aug 24, 2020

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I am using InDesign 15.1.1 to create several accessible, tagged PDFs.

 

I have tagged every paragraph style correctly under the export tags for PDF (Edit all export tags > show: PDF), and I have left any list items and table of contents items with the default ‘Automatic’ tag.

 

I am exporting as an interactive PDF with ‘Create tagged PDF’ checked. 

 

Then when viewing the PDF in Acrobat Pro DC, in the Tags pane I have selected ‘Apply role mapping to tags’. This should ensure that in the tags pane in Acrobat, all my original paragraph style names are displaying as the tags that I have created. But this is not happening. I am finding that some of the tags are role mapping correctly, while several other tags are appearing incorrectly role-mapped with their original paragraph style names in place instead of the tags that I had assigned to them in InDesign.

 

There seems to be no logic to this. Why have some of my paragraph styles been role mapped correctly as per the tags I have created in InDesign and yet some styles have not? I am having to fix the role mapping, tag by tag in Acrobat which is a tortuous waste of time.

 

Is there a bug that can be causing this? I really need a solution as I have some very large documents to create as accessible PDFs.

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correct answers 4 Correct answers

Adobe Community Professional , Aug 25, 2020 Aug 25, 2020
Hi GreenRoof, can you see a mutual characteristic in the paragraph styles where this does not work? Perhaps the styles are based on others or something like that. You said: "…if I export just a few pages at a time then the role mapping is working correctly. The problem seems to occur when I export the full document …" Yes, this sounds very much like a bug. You can report it at InDesign UserVoice: https://indesign.uservoice.com/forums/601180-adobe-indesign-bugs When done please come back he...

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Explorer , Aug 25, 2020 Aug 25, 2020

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Adobe Community Professional , Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022
Yes, confirming that long InDesign style names often cause conflicts during Acrobat's role mapping. Although the style name becomes the "custom tag" in Acrobat (the long tag names that are similar to our InDesign style names), they are truncated by the PDF Export / Acrobat utilities. So long InDesign names can become wierdly named or overriden in Acrobat tags. Easy solution: as you mentioned, write shorter names for your InDesign paragraph styles. Why not use some shorthand: P = body text B = ...

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Explorer , Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022
Thanks for the affirmation Bevi. Yes, I have discovered that when InDesign paragraph style names are long, and begin with the same wording then they can get confused during PDF export. During PDF export only the initial few characters of the style name are used by the software to specify the role mapping, meaning anything that you have placed at the end of a long name to differentiate it from other similarly worded styles may get lost, thereby confusing one style with another. This can either re...

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Explorer ,
Apr 06, 2022 Apr 06, 2022

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Having revisited this same project a year later, to produce an update of the design, the role-mapping problem I first posted about was still occurring. After a year of experience, I can confirm that the way to fix the problem is to simply rename some of the longest or similarly worded paragraph styles to make them simpler and less similar. I rename a few styles at a time and re-export the PDF until it finally role maps correctly.

 

As a matter of course nowadays I try to avoid too many long paragraph styles which begin with the same wording, such as: 'Body copy front section accounts - bold'; 'Body copy front section accounts - italic'; 'Body copy front section accounts - blue'. Instead I might call them 'Bold body copy front section accounts'; 'Italic body copy front section accounts'; 'Body copy front - blue', just to mix it up a bit. This seems to avoid any problems with the role mapping.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 09, 2022 Apr 09, 2022

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Yes, confirming that long InDesign style names often cause conflicts during Acrobat's role mapping.

Although the style name becomes the "custom tag" in Acrobat (the long tag names that are similar to our InDesign style names), they are truncated by the PDF Export / Acrobat utilities. So long InDesign names can become wierdly named or overriden in Acrobat tags.

 

Easy solution: as you mentioned, write shorter names for your InDesign paragraph styles. Why not use some shorthand:

P = body text

B = bold

 

Your 'Body copy front section accounts - italic' can become 'P front sec accts - I'.

 

Added benefit: by starting a style's name with the intended final tag, it's easy to check and correct the role mapping in Acrobat.

 

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

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Explorer ,
Apr 11, 2022 Apr 11, 2022

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Thanks for the affirmation Bevi.

 

Yes, I have discovered that when InDesign paragraph style names are long, and begin with the same wording then they can get confused during PDF export. During PDF export only the initial few characters of the style name are used by the software to specify the role mapping, meaning anything that you have placed at the end of a long name to differentiate it from other similarly worded styles may get lost, thereby confusing one style with another. This can either result in incorrect role mapping (i.e the wrong tag being applied) or no role mapping (i.e. the paragraph style name appears in the tags panel instead of the tag specified in InDesign.

 

If possible, can you vote this as the correct answer for the benefit of others? Then hopefully it won't take them ages to work it out for themselves as I had too! 🙂 Many thanks.

 

Thanks for the shorthand tips.

 

 

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