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New Tags Panel for adding Alt Text to Images and Objects


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  • Staff

Apps: Publisher
Platforms: macOS, Windows and iPad

There is a new Tags panel in Affinity Publisher which allows you to add Alt-text to any image or object when exported to PDF for accessibility purposes.  To use just open the Tags panel from the Window menu, select the image or object you want to add Alt Text too and add your description in the box:

image.png

Alt Text Source

As well as adding your own custom description to any object, you can also choose to scrape the Alt Text from the Title, Description or Headline meta data which may be embedded within the image in question.

image.png

Mark as Decoration

You also have the option to “Mark as Decoration”. This means no image description will be exported or used by screen readers as the item is purely there for decorative purposes rather than important to the understanding of the document. It’s primarily there so you can positively tag an image as not needing a description so will not return as needing one in preflight.

Preflight

Options have also been added in preflight to make it easy to check your document for any missing Alt Text should you wish. When creating or editing a profile you will see a new section for Alt Text. Here you can choose whether you want preflight to return a warning if images, placed documents or vector objects do not have Alt Text added (or marked as decoration).

image.png

Export

In the advanced section of PDF export there is a new option of "Tagged PDF". This is required to be checked if you wish to export your PDF including any tags you have added. Currently this is off by default for all factory PDF presets, although we do intend to make this on by default for all non-print based factory PDF presets.

General note on accessibility features

I also just wanted to say that there are a number of accessibility features we are working on which will be added in upcoming updates such as reading order, heading tags and other document structure tools important for screen readers. For the time being, and so to not go off topic, please keep comments on this thread focused on the new Tags Panel / Alt Text feature added in this version.

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Hi @Ash,

When accessing any of the XMP options from the new Tags Panel, Publisher 2.3.0.2096 instantly crashes when a RAW image is selected regardless of whether the image is Linked or Embedded.

 

Crash Reports

Affinity Publisher 2 Beta-2023-10-25-150807.ipsAffinity Publisher 2 Beta-2023-10-25-150409.ips
Affinity Publisher 2 Beta-2023-10-25-150108.ipsAffinity Publisher 2 Beta-2023-10-25-145415.ips

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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Hi @Jon P,

Perfect, thanks for confirming and logging… 🙂

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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Master objects: If you put an object without alt text on a master page applied to hundreds of pages, you'll get a preflight warning for the master page as well as for each of the document pages. Perhaps it should just generate a single warning?

Screenshot2023-10-25at11_22_25AM.png.981e3a61186877d712813aa0c91d0be0.png

Check Vectors: This option appears to check for path objects only. If I draw a drawing with shape tools, it won't generate a warning, but if I draw the same drawing with the pen tool it will. Is this by design? I can't actually imagine ever using Check Vectors because I have a thousand little lines used for image callouts and they would each generate a warning. If I warp 24 characters and then convert to curves I'll get 24 warnings. Who will be able to use Check Vectors?

Applying: There is no Apply button so you must press Tab or Return to apply (if you type a tag and then click elsewhere the change will be lost), which is fine, but still a bit odd because on macOS there's no visual cue that anything happened. The text field will have focus before you press Tab or Return, and after a brief focus ring flash when you press the key, it will still have focus. I imagine it's a bit different on Windows if the other controls can take focus.

Download a free manual for Publisher 2.3 from this forum - expanded 260-page PDF

Affinity 2.3.1 for macOS Sonoma 14.3, MacBook Pro 14" (M1 Pro)

 

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1 hour ago, MikeTO said:

Perhaps the two digital presets should be updated to have Tagged PDF selected by default?

As Ash said:

On 10/24/2023 at 9:27 AM, Ash said:

Currently this is off by default for all factory PDF presets, although we do intend to make this on by default for all non-print based factory PDF presets.

 

-- Walt
Designer, Photo, and Publisher V1 and V2 at latest retail and beta releases
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Just curious to understand the logic for the non-custom Tags Text appearing greyed out rather than appearing like 'normal' or at least 'custom' text, other than the fact that it's non-editable...

TagsText.png.207b7da55419d29c5c9c1f3d7bdf0c2b.png

 

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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On 10/25/2023 at 1:08 PM, MikeTO said:

Should Password Protection be made a separate collapsible section like File Settings and Advanced?

I think so too, although for different reasons & just suggested that here.

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V23.0 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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Would you be so kind and expand this feature to be used as objects caption with additional options to select the position (up, down, left or right)?

All the latest releases of Designer, Photo and Publisher (retail and beta) on MacOS and Windows.
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  • 4 weeks later...

Exporting a Placed PDF with a Custom Tag from Affinity Publisher fails to Preview and fails to Export giving a "An error occurred while exporting to: filename.pdf" error message...

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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In the absence of any reference to this feature in the Help file, I'm assuming this to be a bug, though it would be helpful to get clarification...

When adding tagged images to a Publisher document or adding custom tags to objects in Affinity Publisher, screen readers (in this case Acrobat Reader) only identify the tag physically shown for the respective object in the Tags panel when exported to a PDF file so e.g., if I include two images in my Publisher document, both which include an XMP:Title, XMP:Description and XMP:Headline, if the Tags panel is set to Custom at the time of export, the exported PDF will fail to read any of the tags for the two images. Acrobat Reader will say "Warning, empty page"...

To read the XMP:Title the Tags panel has to be set to physically show the XMP:Title at the time of export for the screen reader to recognise and read the title tag and likewise for the XMP:Description and XMP:Headline.

By contrast, if I add an XMP:Title and XMP:Description in Microsoft Word and export to PDF, screen readers will recognise and read both tags.

Affinity Designer 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Photo 2.3.1.2217 | Affinity Publisher 2.3.1.2217
Affinity Designer Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Photo Beta 2.4.0.2294 | Affinity Publisher Beta 2.4.0.2294

Affinity Designer 1.7.3 | Affinity Photo 1.7.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.8
MacBook Pro 16GB, macOS Monterey 12.6.8

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  • Staff

The issue "Placed PDF with a Custom Tag fails to Preview or Export" (REF: AF-1273) has been fixed by the developers in internal build "2.3.0.2165".
This fix should soon be available as a customer beta and is planned for inclusion in the next customer release.
Customer beta builds are announced here and you can participate by following these instructions.
If you still experience this problem once you are using that build version (or later) please reply to this thread including @Serif Info Bot to notify us.

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