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


From: Kilcommons,Cath
Date: Dec 11, 2007 2:10PM

Hi Lisa,
Acrobat Professional 7.0 works fine for this process, it even worked in 6.0...you just have to make sure you are using the MS Word menu option Adobe> Convert to PDF options rather than print as PDF.
If there are styles applied in Office 2003, headings get converted into bookmarks in Acrobat, making the pdf easier to use. If you have added alt-text to your images, and added document properties (e.g. keywords) these will all transfer to PDF. The new add-in from MS will also created tagged, bookmarked pdf from styled documents.

You may wish to reference the modules we have been developing for our demonstration grant - the near-final versions are posted at http://accessibility.colostate.edu/ahg07/pre/. (final versions will get posted at accessproject.colostate.edu: The word module is available at http://accessproject.colostate.edu/prof_dev/modules/word/mod_word.cfm .)

If styles have not been used in the creation of the documents, the resultant pdf will be text-based, but have no additional structure or support.

That said, PDF is a format that is still cumbersome and not accessible to everyone. For considerations such as student notetaking, it is not very user-friendly to the digitally inclined (I cannot take paper and pencil notes). Consider posting both the PDF format and the doc format. While MS Office formats are proprietary, the availability of such things as open office can help users who do not have MS Office.

Watch out for those new docx and pptx - the macro enabled formats that cannot be opened by OO, or 2003 without the new MS converter, and the new tendency of PowerPoint 2007 to turn text into images...

When it comes to Adobe Pro 8, the new Form Designer is very nice and user friendly and your faculty/ staff may be a preference to Word for form development. Nice tutorials at http://www.htctu.fhda.edu/trainings/manuals/web/CreatingAccessibleAA8.pdf.