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Re: QUESTION: ISO end-user level tools for converting files to PDF or other accessible formats


From: John E. Brandt
Date: Dec 11, 2007 10:50AM


I support Mike's suggestion to use Adobe Acrobat Professional to do this
conversion. With Office 2003, I have used other PDF conversion programs
(free or shareware) and I do not think they produced accessible documents
even if the original document was accessible (ALTs for images, etc.). The
Acrobat Professional has an "accessibility wizard" that will test the
document and provide a play-by-play description on how to fix the file to
pass the accessibility test. This works with MS Office 2003 and newer. Some
PDF conversions will "pass" without having to do anything else, some will
not, and in my experimentation, it seems the older the document, the greater
the chance it would NOT pass and need additional tweaking.

I recently updated to MS Office 2007 (and I am sorry I did, but that's
another story) and the Acrobat Professional plug-in automatically installed
into the Office 2007 suite. It seems to work just fine.

There is, however, a free download from MS that supposedly allows you to
convert Office docs to PDFs (see
B059-A2E79ED87041&displaylang=en ) But I have not used this so I do not know
if it will produce accessible docs -

Anyone out there using this who can share their experiences?

BTW, the most difficult documents to make accessible are those created with
desktop publishing software, like MS-Publisher and Adobe PageMaker. Not sure
if the newer versions work better - I'm still testing - but if content is in
columns or moved around the document (e.g., continue on page 5 types of
layout) it will be difficult to create an accessible document. PageMaker was
better at this than Publisher 2003.


John E. Brandt
Augusta, Maine USA

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Lisa Goldberg
Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2007 12:13 PM
Subject: [WebAIM] QUESTION: ISO end-user level tools for converting files to
PDF or other accessible formats

Hi everyone,

Let's say you have a scenario where end users (like clients) have to
convert their Word, Powerpoint and Excel files to PDF or other
accessible formats. I'm not just talking about simple Word docs, but
also Word forms and PPTs with multimedia components.

Is there a tool that you would recommend for this job?



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