WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

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


From: Olaf Drümmer
Date: Nov 3, 2013 4:15PM

Hi Birkir,

ad 1, table is not really a table

If I remember correctly xyMedia have a feature in their axesPDF plug-in for word that lets you turn Word tables into lists once exported to PDF. One would have to be abel to look at an example or two of your tables to see whether that might be an option (maybe you can provide an example somewhere? if your customer's data is confidential you could create a generic replica ).

ad 2, hide tagged content from display

it might actually be easier than you think - there are a couple of ways to make content that is present invisible:
- put an object on top of it that covers it
- make the object the same colour as the background
- move the object under some other object that covers it
- and variations of the above

Disclaimer: I heavily advise against presenting content to some users only. All content should always be presented (in an accessible fashion ;-) ) to all users. Instances where content is presented to only some users almost always is a strong indicator for a flawed document. In addition, such content that is hidden from some users tends to be of inferior quality as it is almost always not subjected to the usual quality assurance routines as the other content.


Am 3 Nov 2013 um 22:11 schrieb "Birkir R. Gunnarsson" < <EMAIL REMOVED> >:

> Greetings
> 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.
> -Birkir
> > >