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Re: Accessible GIS coordinates/Lack of Tools


From: Michael Rollins
Date: Nov 1, 2013 1:31PM

Bevi Chagon wrote:
The best solution is 2-fold:
1) Screen Reader manufacturers pick up the glyph's name/description from the
font information and voice it.
2) Adobe and Microsoft develop tools to let Actual Text be applied to
individual glyphs. Sort of like the <ABBR> tag in HTML (which isn't
available in Word, InDesign or PDF).

For those of us involved in high volume production of accessible documents, there is a sad lack of effective and efficient tools with which to both produce consistent source files and quickly make the necessary clean ups required in Acrobat. I work primarily with technical documents as deliverables to the Federal government, frequently with many tables, graphics, and formulas (containing glyphs). The source documents can come from numerous authors with varying skills in producing Word or InDesign files. They almost always have to be altered to be able to be used as source documents.

I have the same issue as Bevi with glyphs in formulas frequently found in these technical files. There simply aren't the tools in any of these programs to allow the work in the source file necessary to produce PDFs that can be finalized quickly.

Tables in particular suffer from a lack of editing tools. Table editors in Word and Indesign, while making nice looking tables, do not assign all Type and Scope attributes correctly. Scope attributes have to be assigned in Acrobat. There is no means at all for assigning linked headers in complex tables in Word or InDesign, let alone a way of automating it. In Acrobat, the Table Editor will let you assign linked headers, but only in the most maddeningly slow and inefficient way imaginable. Wide tables rotated to fit on portrait pages are quite common. Acrobat's Table Editor will not work at all with rotated tables from an InDesign source file. The only way in Acrobat to assign scope to headers in rotated tables is through editing the attribute property for each and every instance of a header file, another maddeningly slow and frustrating job. In documents with hundreds of tables, clients always want to know why work hours expand into the hundreds. They need look no further tha
n the weak tools provided by software vendors.

I could go on, but the point is that software vendors have done little to keep producing accessible PDFs from being drudge work for anything but the simplest of documents.