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Re: making footnotes accessible in PDF documents


From: Ryan E. Benson
Date: May 26, 2012 3:15PM

Ideally you would make the number/letter/symbol that denotes a
footnote a link which moves the focus down to that line/paragraph.
From my research, you cannot finely control focus within PDFs without
writing a good chunk of JavaScript. As you may know in Word 2010 you
can save a word document as a PDF. I usually use NetCentric's PAW (now
called CommonLook Office) to create a PDF. I don't have access to the
computer I have PAW on, so I cannot give a for sure result. I believe
this case Word 2010's save as function does a better job than PAW
(sorry Duff); but if I reversed them, sorry. When you look at the
tags/reading order of a Word conversion, the reading order goes
paragraph, corresponding footnote, back to paragraph, then back down
to the footnote, when applicable. The PDF made by PAW, the reading
order goes down to the footnote at the correct time, but instead of
jumping up back to the paragraph, the rest of the footnotes are read,
then move back up to the paragraph.

The question becomes is do you want to make a person read the
individual footnote always after it is brought up, or clump them
together at the end of the page. I only had to do this once at work,
and the requestor preferred them to be read at the very end of the

Ryan E. Benson

On Sat, May 26, 2012 at 4:09 PM, Jennifer Sutton < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> Before posting to the list to ask about how to make footnotes
> accessible in PDF documents, I did some searching on the Web. But the
> information I found didn't seem as current as I'd prefer.
> For example, I found this discussion on the Accessify Forum, from 2008:
> http://www.accessifyforum.com/viewtopic.php?t—64
> I'd appreciate it if folks could give me some guidance about how best
> to make footnotes accessible in PDFs. I do believe that footnotes are
> better than endnotes, and it certainly would be ideal if there were a
> way to navigate/jump to the footnote, and then jump back to the place
> I was, in the text, without having to insert a new link for each
> footnote, to make this possible.
> If anyone has a publicly available sample of best practices, I'd
> appreciate a link. I've never seen an accessible PDF with footnotes,
> so I'm pleased to be working on a project where I can help implement this.
> Thanks in advance for suggestions.
> Jennifer
> > >