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Re: PDF forms: all form field-related information read out twice


From: Duff Johnson
Date: Jun 24, 2014 6:54AM

> Agreed, we had a vendor try to artifact this text which made me
> uncomfortable as that seems like a PDF/UA violation

Yes - this is a *clear* PDF/UA violation!

Field labels appearing on the page (i.e., not in the control’s tool-tip) are “real content”, period, end of discussion. They *shall* be tagged.

One of the many many reasons we need PDF/UA is to make such matters very clear.

Unfortunately, at the present time WCAG 2.0’s published PDF Techniques pertaining to PDF forms ignore the subject of form-field labels except in the context of tool-tips. This should be improved. For some reason (and differing from the way regular PDF forms are addressed) the discussion regarding LiveCycle (XFA) forms does include the “visual” label. However, XFA forms are a small percentage of PDF forms overall.

A not-unrelated observation… while the normative text of WCAG 2.0 itself is careful on this point, the PDF Techniques (and maybe others as well) seem to use “screen reader” as a substitute for “assistive technology” in many cases. As many have observed, this is misleading (since not all AT are screen readers); the text should be changed accordingly.

> In testing I found that ZoomText's text-to-speech tools did not
> read the artifact text and this would be an issue as you mention.

Precisely so.