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PDF hacks (equivalent to role="presentation" and off-screen text).


From: Birkir R. Gunnarsson
Date: Nov 3, 2013 2:11PM


I have been doing some work with a client that wishes to make their
PDFs accessible.
The biggest problem we face is that the software they use uses tables
aggressively for visual layout purposes (these are copies of invoices
and statements that are made for paper billing but also available to
customers online).
Of course other elements such as divs can be used for layout, but it
will cause significantly more work for them to remediate their files.
I am 95% sure that the answer for this is no, but was wondering if
there is any technique that can be used to hide the table markup for
screen readers when tables are used for visual layout purposes, the
equivalent of html/aria role="presentation" essentially?
Have you come across this problem, and have a best practice
recommendation you would like to share, other than "rewrite that damn
file in an accessible format" .. hey, we have all had that little
voice in the back of our heads maybe whisper that to us occasionally.

Similarly, are there any PDF techniques that work similarly to hiding
text off-screen with CSS?
It is always clumsy, and it should not be needed, but we don't live in
the perfect world, so I want to be aware of any hacks that could be
deployed to give instructions or help make a file accessible in the
short term.
Thanks everyone.