Comments (3)


June 13, 2011

Preparing Accessible PDFs with InDesign CS5.5 and Acrobat X Pro

InDesign CS 5.5 greatly reduces the time and number of steps involved in creating accessible PDFs that people with disabilities can use more effectively. With InDesign CS 5.5, you can establish content reading order and add Alt Text to images right in InDesign without using the XML structure pane. Tables, nested tables, lists, nested lists, footnotes and hyperlinks now translate directly from InDesign to Acrobat. A new feature allows PDF tags to be built into paragraph styles, and improved object anchoring and export options make the entire InDesign to accessible PDF process faster, easier, and more reliable. In a brand-new, two-part video series on Adobe TV that launched today, Adobe worked with Michael Murphy, host of the InDesigner Podcast, to take an in-depth look at all of the new, and improved features in InDesign CS 5.5 that make this possible. In Part I, Michael examines the new features that greatly reduce the time and number of steps involved in creating accessible PDFs, by setting up a content order in the new Articles panel, creating anchored images within a text flow, applying all text and tagging instructions to the images, and mapping paragraph styles to PDF tags. In Part II, he works with a finished InDesign document, exports a PDF, and show how well all the new InDesign CS5.5 features pay off in Acrobat X Pro.


  • By Mary - 11:34 AM on March 16, 2012  

    It would be useful to cover how to handle long documents working with the articles feature and CS5 accessibility option.

    For example, is there any way to arrange footnotes in the structure of the Indesign doc before you export to PDF? I have to manually move those all when working in Acrobat, because they get grouped together at the end of each frame during export (when they should be tagged after each reference number).

    Also, I have assigned Heading 1,2,and 3 to paragraph styles as the video recommends. However, these styles contain Numbering features, and come up tagged as listed items despite the fact that I have instructed ID to label them as Headings- another manual fix I have to make in Acrobat.

    Definitely a good step toward improving accessibility options pre-export, but still some gaps for those dealing with long, technical documents.

  • By Mary - 11:50 AM on March 16, 2012  

    One last point.

    I have threaded frames, but don’t want them all grouped in the same article. Looks like when I export, they are. So, I have an entire chapter under 1 tag; in the tabs panel, the last line of text (page 6) is followed by the figure on page 1.

    I need to tell ID to ONLY take certain text from a certain frame for an article. But it seems like ID takes the whole frame and all of its linked threaded frames for each article, and you can’t tell it to stop.

    In the end, the Articles tool does not seem appropriate for the long document I am working with.

  • By Gabriel Powell - 5:20 PM on April 5, 2012  

    InDesign CS5.5 allows you to specify certain paragraphs as artifacts. Anything tagged as an artifact in an accessible PDF document will be ignored by a screen reader.

    To specify a paragraph as an artifact, you do this at the paragraph style level. Double-click the style to view its settings. At the left side of the dialog box, select the Export Tagging category. Then choose Artifact from the PDF Tag menu. Click OK to close the dialog box.

    Keep in mind that this will tag all paragraphs to which this style is applied as artifacts.