In the article “Tools and Services for Accessibility”, I discussed some of the challenges in the PDF proofreading process. One of those challenges is the cumbersome and tedious nature of repeating the same manual processes over and over again.
On a recent phone call with my good friend Keith Gilbert, I mentioned several things I wish InDesign would do for me automatically to speed up the PDF proofreading process.
As a talented screenwriter, Keith said, “Why don’t you make a list of what you’d like InDesign to do and send it to me and let me see what I can do?” So I did this. I thought about what tasks I do in each InDesign file and what could be automated to simplify the process.
A day or two later I received an email from Keith containing the first version of the script and I was amazed! After running it a few times I thought of a few more things to add, so Keith reviewed the script and sent me a new version.
The script is called Check Document Accessibility and you can download it for free from Keith’s website. It does the following:
- Displays a dialog box if the document does not have a title and gives you the option to add one in the dialog box
- Searches all paragraph styles for styles with the name to manage, titleWhere subtitle followed by a number and associates this style with the appropriate export tag
- Warns you of any missing alt text images
- Remove alt text from any image marked as artifact
- Marks any placed image with the word artifact in the filename as an artifact
As someone who often has to work with existing InDesign documents that weren’t created with accessibility in mind, this script saves me a lot of time. It won’t complete the editing process for you, but it really gives you a head start, so you only have to make minor edits before exporting to PDF.
I’d love to hear what you think of the script and if there’s anything else you think you can add I’d love to hear about it. Enjoy!