WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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Re: PDFs that read one word per line


From: ejp10
Date: Jan 27, 2010 2:54PM

I agree with Julie that Adobe is inadverdently sending out a bad
message about PDF accessibility.

I have attempted to create an accessible PDF, but it is neither cheap
or easy. Even if you have the correct version of Acrobat (which can be
pricy for some academics), the tools are buried in an "Advanced" menu,
at least on the Mac side. What does THAT say about accessibility?

In addition - It's one thing to hope that a professional Web developer
will figure out the toolset enough to create an accessible PDF. It's
something else to expect a non-specialist to do it...but that's the
source of many PDFs. An instructor, administrative assistant pushes a
convert to PDF button and voila a PDF, but usually not an accessible
one. I'm not sure there's even an easy method on a Mac (the Print as
PDF on the Mac does NOT recognize and tag Heading 2 tags in Word).

It's ironic because Adobe has one the better development tools for
accessibility - Dreamweaver. The accessibility features are usually
enabled by default in recent versions, and once they are, many
accessibility accomodations for HTML can be enabled by filling in a
form field as you insert or create an item.

Because of this, I generally recommend avoiding PDF unless there's a
compelling reason for it. It's still so much easier to accessify and
verify HTML documents


> From: "Julie Strothman" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> Date: January 26, 2010 11:20:38 AM EST
> Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDFs that read one word per line
> Reply-To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
> Tags are automatically added in Standard by Acrobat, yes. But I
> thought that new tags could only be added in Professional?
> Adobe claims that "Adobe is an industry leader in accessibility and
> supports the creation of outstanding web experiences by encouraging
> web developers to produce rich, engaging content that is accessible
> to all."
> This does not jibe with making accessibility features exclusively
> available to wealthier organizations.
> Web developers are not being encouraged to create accessible
> experiences when Adobe ships Flash, Flex, and Dreamweaver with
> accessibility features turned off, and when the features that can be
> made accessible are such a small percentage of the feature-set.
> -Julie Strothman
> User Experience Researcher and Designer
> Landmark College
> Putney VT
>>>> Andrew Kirkpatrick < <EMAIL REMOVED> > 01/26/10 11:00 AM >>>
> Modifying tags does require Acrobat Pro, but tags are added in
> Acrobat Standard.
> Thanks,
> Andrew Kirkpatrick
> Senior Product Manager, Accessibility
> Adobe Systems

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
Instructional Designer
Education Technology Services, TLT/ITS
Penn State University
<EMAIL REMOVED> , (814) 865-0805 or (814) 865-2030 (Main Office)

210 Rider Building (formerly Rider II)
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