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Accessible pdf has added/removed spaces

Community Beginner ,
Sep 09, 2020

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Hi all,

 

I'm making a pdf that's accessible for screen readers. When I export as an interactive pdf everything looks fine but when it's read by a screen reader it has weird spacing. For example:

  • "causes damage or interference to any third party" is read as "causesdamageorinterferencetoanythirdparty"
  • "another customer, or" is read as "another customer, o r"

 

I was able to fix the first one by clearing overrrides to the paragraph style, but there's lots of instances of the second issue that I can't seem to fix.

 

The spaces are definately fine in the InDesign file (I can see them with 'Hidden Characters' turned on) but for some reason the screen reader is having problems with this bit of text.

 

Anyone have any thoughts?

Correct answer by Alice5E5B | Community Beginner

I've spoken with our accessibility consultants and they haven't had any issues with it. One of their employees is blind and uses a screen reader full-time, and she said she found no issues reading the pdf with VoiceOver. I'm thinking it may be user error on my part using the screen reading software. 

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Accessible pdf has added/removed spaces

Community Beginner ,
Sep 09, 2020

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Hi all,

 

I'm making a pdf that's accessible for screen readers. When I export as an interactive pdf everything looks fine but when it's read by a screen reader it has weird spacing. For example:

  • "causes damage or interference to any third party" is read as "causesdamageorinterferencetoanythirdparty"
  • "another customer, or" is read as "another customer, o r"

 

I was able to fix the first one by clearing overrrides to the paragraph style, but there's lots of instances of the second issue that I can't seem to fix.

 

The spaces are definately fine in the InDesign file (I can see them with 'Hidden Characters' turned on) but for some reason the screen reader is having problems with this bit of text.

 

Anyone have any thoughts?

Correct answer by Alice5E5B | Community Beginner

I've spoken with our accessibility consultants and they haven't had any issues with it. One of their employees is blind and uses a screen reader full-time, and she said she found no issues reading the pdf with VoiceOver. I'm thinking it may be user error on my part using the screen reading software. 

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Sep 09, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 09, 2020

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Try Exporting or Save As to .idml. Then open the .idml and see if the problem still exists.

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Sep 09, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 09, 2020

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Hi Scott, it wouldn't be a case of opening the idlm to see if the problem still exists (the problem doesn't exist in the indd).
I've tried exporting to idml, then opening the idml and export to pdf, then running the screen reader on the pdf, but the problem persists.

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Sep 09, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 09, 2020

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Accessible PDF has nothing to do with IDML.

It's all about how you constructed the INDD, your export settings to create the PDF, and how you're testing the resulting tagged PDF.

 

From your description, it looks like the first two items are ok.

So, a question:

What screen reader are you using, and on which platform?

 

Bevi Chagnon | Designer & Technologist for Accessible InDesign + PDFs | Books @ www.PubCom.com/books — NEW! Accessible InDesign + PDF

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Sep 09, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 10, 2020

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Hi Bevi, the issue was initally raised by an external company we use to audit for accessability, so I'm not sure what software they were using. But I'm getting the same issue using VoiceOver on Mac.


Thanks!

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 14, 2020

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Have you heard of this sort of thing happening before? I can't seem to find any info online.

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Sep 14, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 14, 2020

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I think @Bevi is trying to determine if your issue is with the file or the assistive software itself as not all assistive software solutions are created equal unfotunately. Remediating to the standard is a way of guaranteeing that the file is built to specifications but not all assistive software solutions are honoring that standard which always makes things tricky. I'd see if you can find out from the auditing company what tool they're using. The other variable is we don't know how your file was built so it's hard to determine if the cause is the file or the assistive software.

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Sep 14, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 16, 2020

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I've spoken with our accessibility consultants and they haven't had any issues with it. One of their employees is blind and uses a screen reader full-time, and she said she found no issues reading the pdf with VoiceOver. I'm thinking it may be user error on my part using the screen reading software. 

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Sep 16, 2020 0