Skipped heading levels

A document is structured using headings with different hierarchy levels, see “Structure with the help of multi-level headings”.

To ensure that the structure made with headings can always be understood, the heading levels mustn’t be skipped. This means <H1> mustn’t be followed directly by <H3>. However, after a <H3> another <H1> can follow, because a new chapter begins for example.

PAC 3 error message

Numbered heading skips one or more heading levels

Prüfpunkt des Matterhorn Protokolls

14-003 Numbered heading levels in descending sequence are skipped (→ automatic testing)

Manual approach in Word

The heading levels can be determined using paragraph styles, see “Define tags in Word”. If this error occurs, the paragraph styles you used need to be corrected.

A helpful tool is the “Navigation Pane”. If it’s not visible, it can be activated in the “View” menu. The indentation can be used to determine whether a heading level has been skipped.

Manual approach in InDesign

The heading levels can be determined using paragraph styles, see “Define tags in InDesign”. If this error occurs, the paragraph styles you used must be corrected and, if necessary, the existing paragraph styles must be rethought.

A helpful tool is the “Highlight Export Tags” function of the InDesign plugin MadeToTag. Different orange markings are used to identify the headline export tags.

Manual approach in Acrobat

Probably the most time-consuming and error-prone way is to make corrections in the PDF, using the “Tags” navigation pane of Acrobat. See also “Change PDF tags in Acrobat”.

If changes have to be made in the source document, the work you made in Acrobat need to be repeated. The solutions above are therefore recommended as the first choice.