E-mail List Archives

Re: creation of Accessible PDF documents


From: Christophe Strobbe
Date: Oct 31, 2011 5:21AM


At 14:12 30-10-2011, Chuck wrote:
>its my understanding that Open Office is still inaccessible to JAWS users
>although I haven't personally tried it in a couple of years.

On Windows, both OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice use the Java
Accessibility API to expose accessibility data. Unfortunately, this
API is not well supported by screen readers on Windows. (Both office
suites use other APIs on Mac OS X and Linux, and accessibility is
said to be better on those platforms.)
Work to replace the Java Accessibility API with IAccessible2 has been
done (by IBM) but still needs to be integrated in OpenOffice.org.
This will not happen before the Apache Foundation (to which Oracle
donated OpenOffice.org) releases version 3.4, and this release is not
expected before early 2012.
LibreOffice developers are also aware of this accessibility issue;
they are waiting for the IAccessible2 code to get integrated into
OpenOffice.org so they can get it from there instead of duplicating
the job of creating the IAccessible2 implementation from scratch.

There are some other accessibility-related issues in these office
suites, for example the loss of text alternatives when you export
presentations to PDF.

Best regards,

Christophe Strobbe

>----- Original Message -----
>From: "Andrew Kirkpatrick" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>To: "WebAIM Discussion List" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
>Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 7:14 AM
>Subject: Re: [WebAIM] creation of Accessible PDF documents
> > I'am a tutor for the lecture "accessible documents" at the computer
> > science faculty at the TU Dresden. In one exercise of this lecture the
> > students should create a small, accessible pdf document. If possible the
> > job should be doable without using commercial software especially not
> > Adobe Acrobat. I searched for open source software and found Open Office
> > which seems to work relativly well.
> >
> > AWK: Why "especially not Adobe Acrobat"? Trying to add extra challenges
> > to the task by not allowing the most capable general-purpose tool for
> > working with PDF documents? :)
> >
> > I don't know how to fix these issues in Open Office. Is this possible or
> > am I forced to use Adobe Acrobat after exporting to fix that?
> >
> > AWK: You might want to log a bug on open office to fix this issue in their
> > output, but until they fix that you may need a commercial tool since I'm
> > not aware of any free tool that handles this.
> >
> > AWK

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
Open source for accessibility: results from the AEGIS project
Please don't invite me to Facebook, Quechup or other "social
networks". You may have agreed to their "privacy policy", but I haven't.