Inevitably in a document, you are going to have elements that you do not want to be read by assistive software for a variety of different reasons. In this video, learn several ways to artifact or background an item so that it is not read by assistive soft
- [Instructor] One of the things you'll encounter when you're remediating a PDF file is the fact that there might be content in the document that you may not want to be read by assistive software. Case-in-point is oftentimes when a document is designed, designers will use imagery and artistic objects for aesthetic purposes. They really don't have a contextual meaning associated with them. And when that occurs, we can do something called artifacting or backgrounding to tell that object not to be read.
There's a couple ways that I can do that. One way I can do that is using the tags pane. And you would do it using the tags pane if something is already tagged. So for example, if I come up here and click on this first figure object, I initially tagged this photo as a figure. But after looking at it again, I'm realizing that it really doesn't have any contextual value. I want to stress the fact that this is a very subjective decision. People could argue both sides of artifacting the object or actually tagging it with alternate text.
It's very subjective and it's something that you're going to have to decide on your own. I'm thinking I really don't want this figure to be read. There's really nothing I can say about this that would really add much to the overall experience of reading this document. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to open up this tag and I'm going to click on this content object. This is the actual image and this is the tag that's associated with that image. So if I don't want this image to be read, I can right-click on that and I can choose change tag to artifact.
When you do this, you're going to be presented with a dialog box that allows you to choose what type of artifact you want it to be. For general objects on the page, I like to make these layout-based artifacts. And when I click OK, it will now artifact that object and you'll notice the content object now disappears. Once a tag is truly empty, you can just right-click on it and choose delete. You do not want to delete any tag that has content inside of it because that's going to generate a new error when you go to validate this document that is an untagged content error.
Everything in the document has to have some tag associated with it. So if I move on to page two, there are some items on this page that I probably don't want to be read either. One example is this line up here at the top. If I go over here to my accessibility category and click on the reading order panel, what I can do is I can artifact objects in the reading order panel as well. So I'm going to highlight this line over here and if I click the background artifact button, that is going to artifact that object.
I'm going to go ahead and close that. One of the ways that I prefer to artifact elements and an easy way to see things that are not tagged, is by opening up the content pane. And I'm going to talk about this in more detail later on but for now, what you're going to see is when you open up the content pane, everything is organized by page number. And so if I open up page two, this is going to allow me to see different objects on the page. And it's important to understand that everything in the document will appear in the content pane.
The content pane is not strictly an accessibility component. But it's a great tool to use when you're dealing with accessibility. Right up here I have these three paths that you can see that have no tag associated with them. And although the Acrobat checker is not going to flag this as an error, other checkers definitely will. So in the content pane, what I can do is I can select these objects by holding down the shift key, right-clicking and choosing create artifact.
Once again it's going to ask me what type of artifact. And because this is just a general layout element, I'm going to choose layout and click OK. Now if we scroll down to the bottom, for accessibility purposes, we typically artifact header and footer information because the folio, or the page number is controlled right up here inside of Acrobat. So to have this be read at the bottom of every page is going to become pretty redundant.
So what I'm going to do is I can see these elements down here at the bottom of that page. And I'm just going to shift-click on both of them. And I'm going to artifact them. So if I right-click and I choose create artifact, it's going to ask me what type of artifact I want to create. Now again, we talk about levels of accessibility and when it comes to header and footer information, this is where I would choose a different option because some checkers are looking to see if header and footer information has been artifacted.
And the way that you do that is by making this a pagination artifact and then you can actually attach this to the bottom because the footer is down at the bottom. A header I might attach up here at the top. But when I click OK, you're going to see that it puts that footer information inside of an artifact element and that content will no longer be read. I think you can now see that there's several different ways that you can artifact or background objects inside of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC and I encourage you to use those methods to tell elements of the document when they're not supposed to be read using assistive software.
- What is accessibility?
- The screen reader experience
- Setting up Acrobat DC
- PDF remediation workflow
- Tagging content, including lists and tables
- Adding metadata, bookmarks, and alt text
- Generating a PDF with Microsoft Word and Adobe InDesign
- Creating accessible PDFs from PowerPoint and Excel
- Adding hyperlinks
- Controlling tag and reading order
- Adding cross-references and tables of contents