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Exporting to PDF

From: InDesign CS5.5 New Features Overview

Video: Exporting to PDF

The need to create tagged PDF files has grown rapidly in recent years. Companies from non-profits to government, to education and many others, have expressed great desire to make their PDF files accessible to users with visual impairments, by tagging them correctly. In previous versions of InDesign, this could be a long arduous process that took a lot of time and resources to achieve. Although In Design CS 5.5 doesn't take all of the work out of creating these files, it sure does take a step in the right direction.

Exporting to PDF

The need to create tagged PDF files has grown rapidly in recent years. Companies from non-profits to government, to education and many others, have expressed great desire to make their PDF files accessible to users with visual impairments, by tagging them correctly. In previous versions of InDesign, this could be a long arduous process that took a lot of time and resources to achieve. Although In Design CS 5.5 doesn't take all of the work out of creating these files, it sure does take a step in the right direction.

I'm beginning this video with the brochure_EPUB file open on my computer. And I'm going to being by showing you the Articles panel, because I want to point out the fact that I've already added all of my content to the Articles panel. And this helps me to control how this content is tagged for a tagged PDF file. In addition, it gives me a lot of other options as well. So, for example, in the panel menu of the Articles panel.

If I click on this, there's an option that I turned on called Use for Reading order, and tagged PDF. I'm going to select it so you can see that when I choose it again the check mark is gone. So I definately make sure that that is selected because I want to make sure that this article order ends up being used in my tagged PDF file. So, this is something, once again, that used to take a lot of work, doing in the XML pain of InDesign. But by using the Articles panel it's a much more intuitive approach, and arguably much more powerful as well.

Now in addition you know a pdf file retains the visual integrity of my file. When it comes to tagging its elements it's important that I specify. What I really want red, by somebody using a assistive device. So, as an example, what I'm going to do is I'm going to select one of these snowflakes. Which as you can see does appear in my Articles panel. But what I'm going to do is with this object selected I'm going to go to the Object menu and choose Object > Export Options, and I'm going to come in here to the Tagged PDF button. And by default, it's going to apply the tag from the structure of the document. And it tells me down here that the content has no structure. And really what that's going to end up doing, is in my final PDF file, when I try to validate this for accessibility, It's going to give me an error message, that I don't have any alt text in there.

Now, alt text can be added right here, but in reality, I really don't even want this to be read at all. So, where it says apply tag I'm going to make sure that I tag this as an artifact, and that is going to make the PDF display the snowflake, but when somebody reads this using an assistive device it's not going to read that object. Remembering that this Object Export Options dialog is not modal... I can simply click on these and change each one of these to be an artifact. And then I'll go ahead and click the done button.

Now in addition, I'll go and enclose my Articles panel, I'm going to scroll down a little bit inside of this document. Because what I would also like to do, is open up my Paragraph Styles panel, and if I select or even click within my text, you'll notice that I've specified the formatting of my text, using styles whenever necessary. And what this allows me to do, is once again, control how the tags are applied to my text.

So if I click on this panel menu. I can come down here to the Edit All Export Tags selection. And in this dialog, I can specify what Tag. The style is going to get mapped to, when I export this to either epub and HTML or to PDF. So because I'm concerned with my tag PDF in this case, I'm going to click on the PDF radio button and you can see how I've mapped my headings to an H1 tag. I've mapped my sub-headings to an H2 tag.

And then all of my body elements I've specified that it maps to a P tag. If you want to get more specific with a lot of this, you can continue going down through and specifying different areas. And I should point out That, ordered and unordered lists, or in InDesign, a bulleted list or a numbered list, will automatically get mapped to a unordered or ordered list, inside of the exported PDF file. So I'm going to go ahead and click OK, and I'll go back to page 1. And then I'm going to go to the File menu and choose Export. Now, for the format I want to choose PDF, and in CS5 the PDF Interactive and PDF Print are new options.

Prior to that they were all in one element. And honestly, it really doesn't matter which one you choose, because both of them are going to let you export To a tagged PDF. So I'm going to go ahead and choose in my case PDF Interactive, but if you want to experiment you can also choose Print. And I'll go ahead and choose Brochure_pdf. Just so I know what this is going to be, and I'm going to put it in my PDF Export folder.

So I'll go ahead and click the Save button. And the important thing at this point, above all these other options, is that I turn on the Create tagged PDF button. To make things a little bit easier, I'm also going to make sure that I view the PDF after export. So I'm going to go ahead and click OK, and it's telling me that I've used CMYK colors, they're going to get converted to RGB, that's fine. I'll go ahead and click OK. And now it's going to generate my PDF file for me. And this file has been opened inside of Acrobat 10. Although, this is not a requirement, of course.

But in this particular case. I want to make sure that I'm opening it using one of the Adobe, either Reader or Acrobat Pro. Now, just press Cmd+0 on Mac, or Ctrl+0 on Windows, just to fit this front page to my window. And really, what I want to show you, is over here in the Navigation pane. I'm simply going to right-click If you don't have a two button mouse, you can Ctrl+Click here.

And I'm going to choose the Tags option. And you'll notice that immediately it's already been tagged, because I chose that option on export. I could add tags, after the fact, but it's not nearly as reliable. And I'll show you what I mean. I'm going to open this up, and as I drill down in my structure, you can see that I have these different articles that were created. But when I open these up further. I'm going to go to the Page one here, and I'm going to open up some of these stories. We can see that we have my sub-head that has been applied. And we're getting a little deep here inside the tagged PDF, but what's nice about this is that we've given our texts specific structure, so the sub-head If you recall is actually being mapped to the H2. How do I know that? Well, if I come up to the Options, I can choose Edit > Roll Map.

And this essentially displays the mapping properties that have been applied to this. And we can see that, my sub-heading, let's go ahead and find this, has been mapped to an H2. So even though it shows up as a sub head here, it's essentially being interpreted as an H2. I'm going to go ahead and click OK, to close that window. And you can see, at this point that by implementing some of these new features in InDesign CS5.5, You can really streamline the process of creating a tagged pdf files for users of assistive devices.

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InDesign CS5.5 New Features Overview

13 video lessons · 420 viewers

Chad Chelius
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