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


From: Monir ElRayes
Date: Apr 3, 2014 11:54AM

I think it is important to realize that PDF is here to stay for a variety of
reasons, not the least of which the fact that PDF typically represents a
"document" as opposed to an html "page" which usually represents an
information fragment.

In any case, using the right tools, PDF can easily be made as accessible as
HTML. Accessibility technology should accommodate all popular formats as
long as these formats are inherently capable of being accessible.

Best Regards,
Monir ElRayes
Founder / Director
NetCentric Technologies 
Creator of the CommonLook Suite of Tools
Please consider the environment before printing this e-mail

-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Lucy Greco
Sent: Thursday, 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,
(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

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

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

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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