Alternate Text for Graphics and Fillable PDF Form Fields

​Happy New Year All. 

All is well here.

I have a question regarding XPP and PDF output. 

We ​investigating providing PDF documents with alternate text for images for purposes of 

compliance, as well ​as PDF forms with fields ​that can be filled out using a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat.  

​Does XPP ​with PDFDirect support these capabilities. 

​If so, can it be supported using XPP XML style setups and or classic XPP tags and codes. 

​If either fillable fields or alternate text are not currently supported, is it in the backlog/wish list?​

​Thanks for any input and or insight.​


John Hoffman

  • Hi John,

    I'm pretty sure that alternate text for images is currently supported by the XPP Direct to PDF (divpdf) product.

    I think the suggested XPP setup for use with divpdf for this would be CSS (XML), although if you only need alternate text for images and not the full-blown PDF/UA stuff then there might be a way to use other setups (I'm just not sure myself).

    In regards to divpdf and support for fillable fields, I myself have not heard of any discussions about that feature nor anything about it being in the backlog or wish list.

    I do see on the web in the PDFlib documentation (the framework for generating PDF on which the Direct to PDF product is built) things about "form fields" - I don't think we currently have any "hooks" in divpdf into those features.

    For more on what is supported in Direct to PDF in regards to "tagging" and "accessibility", I suggest that you look at Chapter 8 of the latest version of the PDF Support in XPP manual (for XPP 9.3) on the SDL Documentation Center.

  • Clarification: To do the alternate text for images you'll need to use the PDF/UA features (i.e. with -pdfua option) of divpdf.

    You can do this with an XML mode division (where formatting is being specified in the IF spec).

    But the "tagging" for PDF/UA (e.g. alternate text) will need to be specified in a CSS file, because XPP-specific CSS properties are used to control the creation of PDF tags (and apparently that's the only way it can be done).

    I don't think that Classic mode (XPP tags and codes) is an option for this, as the doc on this subject only refers to CSS-XML and XML divisions (and Chapter 8 of the doc that I referenced mentions other requirements such as that the XML has to be well-formed).