Supporting mathematical terms in accessible PDF – with axaio MadeToTag

Berlin, May 26, 2021 – axaio MadeToTag is a plug-in for Adobe InDesign for preparing InDesign documents for export as tagged accessible documents and exporting them as PDF/UA files – easy, fast and reliable. The international PDF/UA standard is especially important for organizations that have to comply with legal obligations for accessible content (including WCAG, section 508 or BITV), but also for all those who see an ethical need in this.

Adobe InDesign documents can contain a wide range of formulas and other mathematical expressions, facing the challenge of being able to deliver these as accessible content in a PDF. For some time now, MadeToTag has therefore also supported mathematical formulas and expressions in tagged PDF.

MathML (Mathematical MarkUp Language) is a markup language that describes the structure of a mathematical formula to better capture its semantics. During the MadeToTag output process, you can choose to place MathML as an annotation over the mathematical expression (formulas, equations, fractions, etc.) in the PDF/UA. The prerequisite for this is that you work with formulas that were previously set in InDesign with MathTools of the German manufacturer movemen.

The company movemen is a developer of an Adobe InDesign/InDesign Server plug-in called MathTools. MathTools provides a typographically clean way to create and format mathematical expressions, such as formulas, directly in Adobe InDesign. The formulas are displayed as text and can be styled directly using InDesign's text formatting tools. The roundabout way via embedded images or objects is thus being avoided.

Thanks to the strategic collaboration between axaio and movemen, MathML (Mathematical MarkUp Language) support has been integrated into MadeToTag. MadeToTag's user interface is based on a 7-step guide that safely leads the user through the creation of a tagged PDF without the risk of overlooking any step. For a correct MathML support, the checkbox 'Generate MathML annotations' must now be set in MadeToTag step 7 ('Generate PDF file with tags'). The annotation will then be automatically set over all formulas included in the document:

Unlike formulas in embedded images/objects, this way the semantic structure of the formula is still available as MathML and finds better support through assistive technologies.


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