WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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WebAIM-Forum Digest, Vol 187, Issue 10


From: Christine Hogenkamp
Date: Oct 13, 2020 10:25AM

Hi Laurie,

What program are you using to create your PDF?

I sympathize with trying to fix reading order in Acrobat, it's a tedious
process, I have found the best way to fix accessible PDFs is to try to fix
as much as you can outside of Acrobat, and only use Acrobat to fix the
issues that can only be fixed with Acrobat tools or marked as Fixed in the
accessibility checker. It should be possible in the program you used to
create the PDF to control the reading order before it's published/exported
as a PDF.

One thing I have noticed with re-ordering items in the Reading Order panel
is that sometimes trying to move an item upwards in the list can cause the
program to malfunction, for me it usually crashes Acrobat but that might
explain why sometimes just the act of moving an item upwards is causing
problems. Of course, trying to reorder by moving other items downward
instead, until the item in question reaches the top, is even MORE tedious,
but if you find it prevents this re-ordering error and you don't have
access to the source file to fix the reading order that way, it's at least
a method that may work for you.

In my experience, it's not a RAM issue, it's just that Acrobat is buggy and
sometimes certain actions will cause it to crash or mess up the file. When
I do use Acrobat to fix a PDF, I usually do one thing at a time, hitting
the save button after each action, that way if it does crash or become
messed up, you can simply close the file without saving the most recent
changes, then re-open it and try to make your change a different way (drag
other items instead, drag the item to a slightly different location, etc).
And I just wanted to note that for screen readers, the reading order is not
controlled by the Reading Order panel but the reading order as set in the
Tags panel, which I thought I'd just mention since I didn't learn that
right away when I started doing accessible PDFs and I had a hard time
figuring out why my PDFs weren't being read in order when I tested them
using a screen reader. If you already knew that, great!

*Christine Hogenkamp*
Front-end Developer


> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Laurie Kamrowski < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> Cc:
> Bcc:
> Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2020 14:00:43 -0400
> Subject: [WebAIM] Adobe Acrobat PDF Tables issue
> Hi all,
> I am having a rough time with trying to touch up the reading order in my
> PDF that I have created. It's too large to attach here but I can provide it
> if requested (it's 2 MB). Also, I am adding a link to the youtube video
> where I recorded the issue as it happens.
> I don't know what I'm doing wrong, or if my machine just doesn't have
> enough RAM, but I'm just really frustrated. Any help would be very much
> appreciated.
> This is the youtube video:
> https://youtu.be/QLgTJ1yBx8k
> Laurie Kamrowski
> She/Her/Hers
> Accessibility Specialist
> Mid Michigan College
> > > > >