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Re: PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC) vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro XI full check


From: Liko, Todd
Date: Mar 14, 2014 6:12AM

Hello Logan.

Thank you for the information. I am very well versed with WCAG and the other standards, although not all staff are.

We did purchase a copy of CommonLook PDF over a year ago. Many of our developers found the learning curve significant. However, we just ordered 4 more licenses to assist us with the remediation of PDF documents.

Would you be willing to talk offline about the CommonLook Product? I have left my email below.


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Trafford, Logan
Sent: March 14, 2014 7:59 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC) vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro XI full check

Hey Todd.

Just letting you know, we've invested significantly in the CommonLook PDF product to help ensure PDF accessibility. While it currently only checks against 508, the new release coming within a couple of months will be checking against WCAG and PDF U/A as well. There's less of a learning curve for staff, as opposed to trying to figure out the meaning of some of the "errors" that come up from both Acrobat and/or PAC. In my opinion, it makes the remediation process simpler for those who don't fully understand WCAG or other standards.

Logan Trafford
Intermediate Web Developer (WCAG Compliance) City of Ottawa (Canada) From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [ <EMAIL REMOVED> ] on behalf of Liko, Todd [ <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
Sent: Friday, March 14, 2014 7:00 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC) vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro XI full check

Thank you for your response Lucia.

While I agree with you, the reason we are creating accessible PDFs is because that is how the targeted audience for these documents consume these documents. We prefer not to create HTML version just to be able to post the non-accessible PDF version.


-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED> [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Lucy Greco
Sent: March 13, 2014 12:00 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC) vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro XI full check

I say go the html way. Really it's a better format to read and in the end easier for all

Lucia Greco
Web Accessibility Evangelist
IST - Architecture, Platforms, and Integration University of California, Berkeley
(510) 289-6008 skype: lucia1-greco
follow me on twitter @accessaces

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Liko, Todd
Sent: Thursday, March 13, 2014 5:13 AM
Subject: [WebAIM] PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC) vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro XI full check

Hello all.

I use both tools to assess a PDF document for accessibility. Both tools provide reports and are more often than not, quite different from each other. For example, PAC always flags borders, table borders, etc... as untagged content, whereas, Acrobat full check does not. Adobe full check always flags table irregularity even when colspan or rowspan are properly set.

Neither tool flags if the <Reference> tag is properly used for links referencing content within the document, but that makes sense as the automated check cannot determine if the link in internal or external. I always add it because it is part of the ISO Standard.

I also realize the PAC tool assesses against the Matterhorn Protocol which is not required under WCAG 2.0, therefore returns many errors that probably can be overlooked. I prefer to address the errors, however, in order to be proactive.

I guess my question is should I care that the table borders are untagged, that the <Reference> tag or <Label> tag is not being used? Obviously addressing all of these items requires more effort and time and I am getting some pushback/questions as to why it takes so my time to make a PDF document accessible.

There are also suggestions that we simply convert all PDF documents to HTML 5, in order to meet the Standard on Mobile Devices.

Any thoughts or feedback would be much appreciated.

Todd Liko
Communications Advisor | Conseiller en communications Web Services | Services Web Communications and Marketing | Communications et Marketing
427 Avenue Laurier Avenue West (AEAD), Ottawa ON K1A 0N5
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