[Athen] Fwd: [WebAIM] Serious bugs in latest Acrobat update: DO NOT UPDATE

Krista Greear krista at inclusiveinstructionaldesign.com
Wed Sep 22 12:24:17 PDT 2021

Important - please read thread below and vote for fixing so Adobe sees our
frustration at


Krista Greear
Accessibility and Inclusivity Crusader
ATHEN Executive Council Vice President
Access Technology Higher Education Network <https://athenpro.org/>

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: <chagnon at pubcom.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 22, 2021 at 11:57 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] Serious bugs in latest Acrobat update: DO NOT UPDATE
To: WebAIM Discussion List <webaim-forum at list.webaim.org>

Last week, Adobe updated Acrobat and with it, the PDF Maker plug-in for MS
Office that is used to export PDFs from Word and other office apps on

Several key bugs in PDF Maker have shown up since, namely:

* Alt-text added in Word is dropped in the exported PDF and replaced
with code gibberish. (Yes, all the Alt-text you worked hard on is gone!)

* Every frigging line, border, and background fill on table cells,
text boxes, paragraph borders, and hyperlinks is tagged in the Tag Tree with
<P>PathPathPathPathPathPath.one "path" for each border on each cell in a

* And there's no way to roll back to the previous version of Acrobat
and recover your tools. Once updated, you are S O L.

Three actions to take:

1. Vote to fix these bugs on Adobe's UserVoice website.
If you can, please also add a comment about how accessibility is required
for you and your organization by your country's and state's laws. (Adobe's
staff don't understand these laws about civil rights and equal access to
information.) We need a few hundred votes on this page for Adobe to pay
attention to the problem, so spread this message to your colleagues.
The website is at

2. Until this is fixed, use Microsoft's built-in utility to export
accessible tagged PDFs, and skip the Acrobat Ribbon (which is the Adobe PDF
Maker plug-in) altogether. I'll have a blog / tutorial on this by the
weekend, but in the meantime, here are the quick instructions:

a. Make an accessible Word document as usual, with styles, Alt-text,

b. File / Save As / and then choose PDF in the File Type field. This
triggers Microsoft's built-in export utility, not Adobe's.

c. Set your options, file location, and file name.

3. And don't upgrade to the latest version of Acrobat. The version
that is buggy (well, more than usual) is 2021.007.XXXX, and the versions of
PDF Maker that are installed with it are PDF Maker 21 Library 21.7.123 and
Library 21.7.112.

- - -

Bevi Chagnon | Designer, Accessibility Technician | Chagnon at PubCom.com
<mailto:Chagnon at PubCom.com>

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PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing

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Upcoming classes at www.PubCom.com/ <http://www.pubcom.com/classes> classes

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