Accessible PDF Exported from ID contains SPANS in Reading Order panel
InDesign Version: 13.1
To reproduce issue, create an InDesign document with some styles, map styles to tags and export to PDF with tags (accessible pdf).
Expected result is that in the Reading Order panel (and Content pane), each paragraph is wrapped in an appropriate container.
The actual result is that each line of text within a paragraph is wrapped in a span container.
Although this doesn't seem to directly affect the accessibility of the file, it makes additional remediation difficult because of the many containers found in the PDF file.
We acknowledge that the issue is slowing you down and we regret the same.
Our investigation suggests that the issue lies in the latest update of Acrobat and there is little that can be done at our end to resolve the issue.
The problem has been communicated to the relevant team.
In the meanwhile we are closing this thread for InDesign.
Bevi Chagnon commented
At this time, the <Span> tags don't affect screen reader accessibility (SR's ignore them for now). I think that's also the case with other Assistive Technologies.
However, the PDF/UA standard is expanding and forthcoming releases will require much tighter control of tags, structure, nesting, etc. AND the <Span> tag could be used to convey valuable information to the user or technology, so we don't want it mis-used now and cause documents to fail in the future.
Adobe needs to correct this ASAP and ensure that <Span> tags are used appropriately (usually to designate visual formatting of the content) and not wrap them around every single element in the document.
Teira Wilson commented
Does having each line of text within the paragraph wrapped in a span container affect the e-readers? I have come across situations where the document will pass Adobe's check, however, the same document will not pass Site Improve. I am currently trying to make our college's catalog accessible and I am faced with 172 pages of "Span". I auto-tagged it and the results gave me a much cleaner tags panel, but I have to go through the entire document to clean up certain things. Like things tagged as a table, when it is not a table. I guess my question is, is it worth the extra effort or am I doing something redundant?
Any idea when this might be implemented? I am in the middle of a 508 project for a client and this issue is really screwing up my results.
Thanks for writing this up Chad!