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Setting tab order in InDesign form

Community Beginner ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Dear InDesign users,

 

I am working on an interactive PDF form in the current InDesign version CC 2020 with hundreds of checkboxes on one page. These are created within several tables.

 

InDesign currently does not provide a comfortable automatism for determining the tab order, I have done this in painstaking work via Object > Interactive > Set tab order...

 

Now the client wishes a small adjustment to the design and the tables with the checkboxes have to be moved within the layout. Unfortunately, InDesign destroys the determined tab order:
- When moving the tables numerically via the control palette
- When moving manually by mouse or by the arrows on the keyboard 
- Even when just grouping the text frames with the tables

 

Because the checkboxes are placed within tables, the tab order cannot be created using the Articles Panel.

 

Does anyone know a solution to the problem?
Are there any scripts or plugins that allow you to change the tab order more comfortable?

Is there an easy way to extract the checkboxes from the tables and paste on the same position within the page layout (and use the Articles Panel)?

 

Best regards
Robert

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Bevi_Chagnon___PubCom | Adobe Community Professional

Truthfully, controlling the TAB order in InDesign is more than just clicking the option in the PDF Export dialogue box.

 

It is based on several items in the INDD layout file, such as how the Indy stories are threaded, the stacking order in the Layers panel, the Articles panel, and much more.  Definitely more than can be discussed in an online tech support forum.

 

If you haven't yet had a full class in making accessible PDFs from InDesign, then I strongly encourage you to do so. You're on the right track: do the job right, the first time, so that the PDF is in good shape when its exported and doesn't require tinkering and remediation in Acrobat.

 

The 2 instructors I recommend are Chad Chelius' online training in LinkedIn Learning (https://www.lynda.com/Acrobat-tutorials/Creating-Accessible-PDFs/669540-2.html), and my own classes, which are live online sessions (I have one coming up in a few weeks, www.PubCom.com/classes).

 

There's no quick and easy way to do this, and accessibility training for InDesign is complex and deep...just like the program itself and our designs! So don't look for an easy fix on this problem.

 

TOPICS
Bug, Feature request, Scripting

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Setting tab order in InDesign form

Community Beginner ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Dear InDesign users,

 

I am working on an interactive PDF form in the current InDesign version CC 2020 with hundreds of checkboxes on one page. These are created within several tables.

 

InDesign currently does not provide a comfortable automatism for determining the tab order, I have done this in painstaking work via Object > Interactive > Set tab order...

 

Now the client wishes a small adjustment to the design and the tables with the checkboxes have to be moved within the layout. Unfortunately, InDesign destroys the determined tab order:
- When moving the tables numerically via the control palette
- When moving manually by mouse or by the arrows on the keyboard 
- Even when just grouping the text frames with the tables

 

Because the checkboxes are placed within tables, the tab order cannot be created using the Articles Panel.

 

Does anyone know a solution to the problem?
Are there any scripts or plugins that allow you to change the tab order more comfortable?

Is there an easy way to extract the checkboxes from the tables and paste on the same position within the page layout (and use the Articles Panel)?

 

Best regards
Robert

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Bevi_Chagnon___PubCom | Adobe Community Professional

Truthfully, controlling the TAB order in InDesign is more than just clicking the option in the PDF Export dialogue box.

 

It is based on several items in the INDD layout file, such as how the Indy stories are threaded, the stacking order in the Layers panel, the Articles panel, and much more.  Definitely more than can be discussed in an online tech support forum.

 

If you haven't yet had a full class in making accessible PDFs from InDesign, then I strongly encourage you to do so. You're on the right track: do the job right, the first time, so that the PDF is in good shape when its exported and doesn't require tinkering and remediation in Acrobat.

 

The 2 instructors I recommend are Chad Chelius' online training in LinkedIn Learning (https://www.lynda.com/Acrobat-tutorials/Creating-Accessible-PDFs/669540-2.html), and my own classes, which are live online sessions (I have one coming up in a few weeks, www.PubCom.com/classes).

 

There's no quick and easy way to do this, and accessibility training for InDesign is complex and deep...just like the program itself and our designs! So don't look for an easy fix on this problem.

 

TOPICS
Bug, Feature request, Scripting

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Jul 13, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Have you tried doing the tab order in Acrobat Pro?

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 13, 2020

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No. It’s a large document and there are many correction rounds. Changing the tab order in Acrobat Pro after each export would be too time-consuming.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 14, 2020

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You don't have to do it all over and over again. You can use the replace pages command in Acrobat which will leave the interactive layer of form fields intact and will replace only the artwork.

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Jul 14, 2020 2
Adobe Employee ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Hi there,

 

Thanks for reaching out. I agree with IDEAS-Training's response. Please try following instructions on Adobe community discussion(https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/indesign-accessibility-and-tab-order/td-p/10440224?page=1) and see if it helps.

 

Regards,

Ashutosh

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Jul 13, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Jul 13, 2020

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Thanks for the link (which I have already found 😉).

The solution described there does not help with my problem. I need to build a “clean” InDesign document with the correct tab order.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 14, 2020

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Truthfully, controlling the TAB order in InDesign is more than just clicking the option in the PDF Export dialogue box.

 

It is based on several items in the INDD layout file, such as how the Indy stories are threaded, the stacking order in the Layers panel, the Articles panel, and much more.  Definitely more than can be discussed in an online tech support forum.

 

If you haven't yet had a full class in making accessible PDFs from InDesign, then I strongly encourage you to do so. You're on the right track: do the job right, the first time, so that the PDF is in good shape when its exported and doesn't require tinkering and remediation in Acrobat.

 

The 2 instructors I recommend are Chad Chelius' online training in LinkedIn Learning (https://www.lynda.com/Acrobat-tutorials/Creating-Accessible-PDFs/669540-2.html), and my own classes, which are live online sessions (I have one coming up in a few weeks, www.PubCom.com/classes).

 

There's no quick and easy way to do this, and accessibility training for InDesign is complex and deep...just like the program itself and our designs! So don't look for an easy fix on this problem.

 

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

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Jul 14, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 13, 2020

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See some solutions in this other thread:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/indesign/indesign-accessibility-and-tab-order/td-p/10440224?page=1

 

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

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Jul 13, 2020 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 13, 2020

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The fastest way was to me to go in the order from field to field as I want them active, cut it into clipboard and place in position. This order is used to activate in Acrobat.

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