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Re: Creating Accessible PDFs from Desktop Publishing Software


From: Keith Parks
Date: Jan 2, 2008 1:10PM

On Jan 2, 2008, at 11:39 AM, Owens, Parker wrote:

> I don't understand what the problem is. There is no need to
> recreate the documents in any form, just tag them, change the
> structure and reading order, and go. Am I missing something?
> Here is what I do. If it is a scanned image, you first have to run
> the OCR to convert it to text.
> I go into properties and make sure I provide an appropriate
> description and also set the language to English. Next create any
> active url or mailto links.
> After that I use my accessibility tools. First, I tag the document.
> Then I open up my reading order and restructure anything I need to,
> for instance, changing plain text to H2. Then I create alt text for
> images. After that, I make sure the reading order is correct.
> It is somewhat simple after you've done a few.

In my own experience, I've found it to be anything *but* simple. :^(

I suppose it depends on the design and structure of the original
Quark or InDesign documents (?), but even working in Acrobat 8 I find
the process difficult and buggy, the interface non-intuitive, and the
end results spotty, particularly with files containing multiple
linked and non-linked text areas and layered graphics and images.

I do find that InDesign does better than Quark, but we've found the
ID CS3/Acrobat integration to be far from smooth. And I also often
feel that it would be much easier and faster to just recreate some
documents as html rather than trying to make them accessible PDFs.

Keith Parks
Graphic Designer/Web Designer
Student Affairs Communications Services
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7444
(619) 594-1046


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