WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

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RE: pdf forms for print or html forms for web use?


From: Paul Bohman
Date: Jun 7, 2002 2:38PM

Melanie asked:

>>Does the "Make Accessible Plug-in" work? It didn't seem to do much for
me. It seemed that tagging the document piece by piece was the only
thing that worked.

My response:

It sort of works. It creates paragraph tags fairly reliably. It often
recognizes tables. It recognizes graphics, usually, and it occasionally
recognizes headers. Complex documents don't fare too well when using
this plug-in. On the documents that I've converted, I've found that the
Make Accessible Plug-in is a decent first step, but I always, always
have to go back and fix things. Maybe the documents that you're working
with are not as easy to interpret as mine. But you're right that the
results are never optimal.

I wouldn't necessarily discourage people from using it. It's been
somewhat helpful to me. But no matter what, you have to know what to do
*after* running the plug-in. Either that, or you have to create the tags
from scratch.

By far the easiest way to create accessible PDF files is to create good,
well-formed Microsoft Office documents (with *real* headers and styles
and alternative text for images, etc.). When you do it this way, the
conversion is quite clean.

Unfortunately, Acrobat is only optimized to convert from Office, not
WordPerfect, PageMaker, or anything else.

Paul Bohman
Technology Coordinator
WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind)
Center for Persons with Disabilities
Utah State University

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