E-mail List Archives

Re: Which Acrobat versions for creating accessible PDF's


From: John E Brandt
Date: Jan 31, 2011 12:33PM

I have always used Adobe Acrobat (AA) Pro for my work and it has had all of
the accessibility checking features that I need.

I am a little troubled by this statement of the page you cited: "Check and
adjust documents to help ensure they are accessible to people with
disabilities." This feature is available in AA Pro but not in AA Standard
(unchecked). I think I would steer people away from AA Standard version
because of this. I think it was rather foolish for Adobe to consider this as
an option that they could market upon rather than as an essential element of
all of the paid versions.

BTW, a word of caution about the Accessibility Checker in AA Pro X - the
latest version. The directions that get produced in the Accessibility Report
(which is generated when you run the Accessibility Checker) were apparently
not updated between version 9 and version 10. In other words, the directions
for solutions to fix your documents are the directions for version 9 and
don't make sense for version 10. In the update, Adobe changed the Tools
extensively, reducing the number of tools and the steps used to accessing
them. In many ways the this is a major improvement. But if you try to follow
the directions for fixing an untagged/inaccessible PDF, you will have to
poke around for a while to figure out how to do things. I suspect that many
people won't bother.

I blogged about this and sent an e-mail to Andrew Kirkpatrick to find out
when it will be fixed. No word yet.

Here is my blog entry on the issue:


John E. Brandt
Augusta, Maine, USA

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Terrill Thompson
Sent: Monday, January 31, 2011 12:36 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List ( <EMAIL REMOVED> )
Subject: [WebAIM] Which Acrobat versions for creating accessible PDF's

Hi All,

In looking at the Adobe Acrobat Family Production Comparison page:

That page provides some general (though inaccessible) information about
which Acrobat version is required for accessible authoring, and there's a
bit more detail provided in the detailed comparison (an untagged PDF linked
from the main page). According to these docs...

Features that are available in Acrobat X Standard:
- Make PDF documents more accessible by adding tags to control reading
order, and improve navigation is available in Standard
- Scan paper documents into PDF and automatically recognize text with
improved optical character recognition (OCR)

Features that require Acrobat X Pro:
- Validate accessible PDF documents and check for possible accessibility
- Provide a reading order for pages or columns of text requires Pro

Has anyone created a more specific, comprehensive list of which
accessibility features are available in the various flavors of Acrobat? I
have the Pro version, but I've gotten fuzzy on how many of the features
available to me are also available to people running Standard.


Terrill Thompson
Technology Accessibility Specialist
DO-IT, UW Accessible Technology
UW Information Technology
University of Washington
<EMAIL REMOVED> | 206/221-4168