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PDF advice needed


From: Ian Lloyd (Accessify.com)
Date: May 12, 2003 2:52AM

I am after any advice I can get regarding PDF and
accessibility. I'll tell you what I know first though

Tagged PDFs are only accessible if the person browsing
has the appropriate plug-in (acrobat Reader 5+) and a
suitable screen reader ... and that the level of
accessibility is basic at best. I also know that there
are online tools (at Adobe) that can convert PDFs.

OK, so here's the scenario. If I find that the
company I work for decides to use PDFs to provide true
likenesses of existing printed literature (and only
PDF can do this), I need to know how I can make this
as accesible as possible. Convincing them to use HTML
is not an option (given that the aim is to reduce
printed material mailed out to customers), so I need
to consider the following:

* If PDF is used, what convertor tool is best (or
easiest to use) for generating a PDF from:
* QuarkXPress (Mac platform)
* Word document (Windows)
There appear to be hundreds of tools, as I found out
on PDF zone
(http://www.pdfzone.com/toolbox/toolfilter.asp) so
your help in defining which ones might support the
accessibility drive better would be appreciated.

* If a PDF page is built from QuarkXPress, does this
pick up on the demantics of headings (level one, two
etc) - or can this only happen with documents that are
initiated with Word?

* If the answer to my Quark question is "no" as I
suspect it will be, can I take a PDF document that has
been supplied in this way and, using a PDF creation
tool, re mark it up again?

I'm sure there will be other questions. PDFs are
something I've steered clear of, but now need to find
out what I can realistically do - and more importantly
what I can ask others who might be producing these
documents and who may not have such an affinity with
semantic/structural markup as myself!

Any pointers will be appreciated

Regards, Ian Lloyd

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