[BCAB] Accessible PDF

Jack Garfinkel j.garfinkel at helpthehospices.org.uk
Mon Apr 18 16:59:48 BST 2011


Hi Sam,

I'm sighted so it goes without saying that my advice is no substitute for proper testing. With that proviso, I've given you an overview below covering conversion from Word and retro-fitting an existing PDF. If you're situation is different e.g. your source document is a PowerPoint presentation, let me know.

Feel free to contact me off list if you want!

Thanks,
Jack Garfinkel

Online Editor

*Is PDF right for you?*
If this is online content, a normal web page may server you better in terms of accessibility if that's your primary concern. Consider your options

*Converting from word*
If you're starting with a word document, you're really asking is how to produce an accessible Word document which is something I train in-house staff on here.

Web aim have good resources on using Word:
http://webaim.org/techniques/word/
Proper heading levels are the easy win, although there are more formatting subtleties once you've mastered the basics.

Adobe also have their own document:
http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/pdf/A9-accessible-pdf-from-word.pdf

You also need to convert it in the "correct" way - this isn't hard though, just be aware that that all PDF 'printing' programs are created equal.

Web aim on converting using Word 2007 or 2010:
http://webaim.org/techniques/acrobat/converting#word

If you only have word 2003 and don't want to buy Adobe Acrobat, then Open Office (and presumably, the forked project Libre Office) is your best bet. It will open .doc files, and the PDFs look pretty good under the hood to me.

Open office Wiki entry on exporting to PDF:
http://wiki.services.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/OOo3_User_Guides/Getting_Started/Exporting_to_PDF


 *Retro fitting an existing PDF*
You need someone with Acrobat Professional who can manually tag the document to make it fully accessible. This assumes that the text in there is 'available' as text - generally it is though unless you're really unlucky. Even a scanned documents can usually have 'OCR' run on them, although results may be mixed.

Adobe's documentation on their tagging semantics is pretty poor, but does follow HTML principles. I learned most of what I know by looking at files converted from well formatted word documents and from a couple of other online resources:
-Adobe's overview of the 'accessibility repair workflow'
http://www.adobe.com/accessibility/products/acrobat/pdf/A9-pdf-access-repair-workflow.pdf
-Adobe's overview of PDF tags
http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/8.0/Professional/help.html?content=WS58a04a822e3e50102bd615109794195ff-7cd8.html

If you've got a paid up version of Adobe Acrobat, there are other options - If you're lucky you might be able to export/convert to plain text which would allow access to the content even if not making the structure accessible.


-----Original Message-----
From: bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk [mailto:bcab-bounces at lists.bcab.org.uk] On Behalf Of Howie, Sam
Sent: 18 April 2011 11:25
Subject: [BCAB] Accessible PDF

Hi All
Can anyone tell how I can make pdf files fully accessible to screen reader users? Are there are set guidelines
Thanks
Sam


Glasgow - Proud Host City of the 2014 Commonwealth Games

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer:
This message is intended only for use of the addressee. If this message
was sent to you in error, please notify the sender and delete this message.
Glasgow City Council cannot accept responsibility for viruses, so please
scan attachments. Views expressed in this message do not necessarily reflect
those of the Council who will not necessarily be bound by its contents.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

--
To find out more about BCAB and the benefits that membership can bring, please visit our website:
http://www.bcab.org.uk/

To manage your subscription to the BCAB mailing list, please visit our website:
http://www.bcab.org.uk/bcab-discussion-list/

To discuss matters relating to the mailing list, please email moderator at bcab.org.uk.

This email and any files transmitted with it are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. If you have received this email in error please notify the sender and delete the original message from your system.

This message and any attachments are intended for the persons named as addressees only and may contain confidential information. In addition they may be protected by copyright. If you receive this message in error, please notify the sender, delete it from your system and do not make use of or copy it. You must not copy, disclose, disseminate or otherwise distribute or publish this message or its contents, except for the purpose for which this message is intended, without the consent of Help the Hospices.

The views expressed in this message are those of the individual sender and may not necessarily reflect the views of Help the Hospices.

This message is not a purchase order and does not form part of a valid contract with Help the Hospices or any trading subsidiary

Help the Hospices is a registered charity in England and Wales No. 1014851 and in Scotland No. SCO41112 and a company limited by guarantee No.  2751549.

Alist of directors is available from its registered office - Hospice House, 34-44 Britannia Street, London, WC1X 9JG




More information about the Bcab mailing list