E-mail List Archives

Re: clarification please -> PDF/UA


From: John E Brandt
Date: Feb 25, 2015 1:27PM

So, I was going to ask the group if the Accessibility Checker built into
Adobe Acrobat Pro (AAP) would accurately assess a file for PDF/UA. According
to the information Olaf provided from the PDF Association, the answer is no
and that the only validator that does this kind of assessment is the PAC:
PDF Accessibility Checker (v2.0). So I checked it out with document that was
initially a VERY simple MS-Word documents (no tables, simple text, a few
links and one in-line image) that had been converted using the SaveAs PDF
utility. It passed the Accessibility Checker in MS Word (latest version) and
essentially passed the accessibility checker in AAP - I had to manually add
the Title even though it was there in the MS-Word version (I think this is a
bug) and verify "manually" that the word order was correct and contrast
ratio sufficient. But the PAC found a number of errors thus deeming the
document NOT to be PDF/UA compliant. Interestingly, one of the "errors"
noted by PAC was the fact that the PDF/UA identifier was missing!

The WC3's document "PDF Techniques for WCAG 2.0"
http://www.w3.org/WAI/GL/WCAG20-TECHS/pdf.html gives high marks to both
MS-Word and AAP as the tools to use. Apparently the PDF/UA is a "higher" -
and perhaps unattainable standard. Clearly I can't figure out a way to meet
this standard with any of the tools I have.

So, I guessing that this is bad news if Section 508 Refresh is going to
require the ISO 32000-1 (PDF/UA-1) standard...


John E. Brandt
jebswebs: accessible and universal web design,
development and consultation
Augusta, Maine, USA


-----Original Message-----
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Olaf Drümmer
Sent: Saturday, February 21, 2015 5:13 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] clarification please -> PDF/UA

You can find am introduction to PDF/UA, called "PDF/UA in a nutshell", on
the website of the PDF Association at:

PDF/UA in a Nutshell | PDF Association

The download link for the "PDF/UA in a nutshell" PDF is at the bottom of
that page.

If you wanted to get a feel for PDF/UA conforming documents, there are a
couple of decent example documents in the form of the "PDF/UA Reference
Suite" (as a free download) at

PDF/UA Reference Suite | PDF Association

In case you really wanted to drill down into the rules that make PDF/UA what
it is, in a form that is still relatively formal and technical, but not as
dense as the ISO standard itself, have a look at the Matterhorn protocol:

The Matterhorn Protocol 1.02 | PDF Association


On 20 Feb 2015, at 21:33, Jon Metz < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> Hi Lucy,
> The term, "Accessible PDF", is left up to interpretation. Some view
> this as simply having a tagged PDF. Others argue that it has something
> to do with the Reading Order pane of Acrobat. Still others insist that
> the only way to do it is to simply rely on Microsoft Word or InDesign
> to magically create one for you. Regardless, it's anyone's guess as to
what it is.
> ISO 14289 is a standard by which people can agree that certain
> provisions will be met to ensure that a PDF is accessible according to
> the capabilities of ISO 32000 (which governs PDF). It basically says,
> these are all the things we're committing our PDFs to do and when we
> use technology that conforms to those standards, then we can assume
> it'll work appropriately.
> So, because Accessible PDF is an opinion of the amount of work it
> takes to make something like that accessible and PDF UA is an
> agreement between a file and conforming reader of that filetype, then yes
it is more accessible.
> Jon Metz
> On Fri, Feb 20, 2015 at 1:26 PM, Lucy Greco < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>> OK after reading through the thread about the 508 refresh i think i
>> need a clarification. could some one please explain the difference
>> between pdf and pdf UA and is UA really more accessible then PDF.
>> i have not delved in to the UA pdf before as its out of my scope but
>> maybe i need to smile Lucy Lucia Greco Web Accessibility Evangelist
>> IST - Architecture, Platforms, and Integration University of
>> California, Berkeley
>> (510) 289-6008 skype: lucia1-greco
>> http://webaccess.berkeley.edu
>> Follow me on twitter @accessaces
>> >> >> list messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>
> > > list messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>

messages to <EMAIL REMOVED>