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RE: PDF advice needed


From: Zwack, Melanie
Date: May 12, 2003 7:22AM


I've been working with accessible PDF's in recent months, and have found
that documents properly prepared in Word 97 will convert using the Make
Accessible Plug-in very nicely.

I have not had very good success with documents I receive that are already
in PDF format, and were possibly not created correctly. Has anyone been able
to create make accessible documents by using manual tagging techniques? The
tags implemented by the Make Accessible Plug-in work just fine. It's just
when I add manual tags, the reader (using Jaws) won't read it. Are there any
work around methods to tagging these PDF's? Apparently, the method listed in
the Acrobat documentation for Accessible PDF's currently has a bug.

Interesting article about Accessible PDF's:

Article about making forms accessible at the IRS:

**In response to these questions:**

**Comment: I have found that Word97 works very well if the document is
developed correctly using styles. I've heard that documents prepared in Word
2000 also convert very nicley too:
* 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.

**Comment: This is where I have personally encountered problems. Whenever, I
need to manually add any sort of tagging to correct a bad area, it's pretty
much a toss of the coin if it will work properly. If anyone has any tips on
how to do manual tagging, I would appreciate some advice. The tags that are
implemented by the Make Accessible plug-in work just fine, its when I do any
manual tagging that I encounter problems. The method given by acrobat
apparently has a known bug, so it doesn't work. I've heard there are some
work around methods. Does anyone know these methods? Thank in Advance!! **
* 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?

**Comment: I've had problems remarking up a document that require manual
tagging techniques. What ever is tagged by the make accessible plug-in works
just fine, it's just manual tagging techniques of any sort don't
consistently work. Apparently, there is a known bug in the process that the
documentation from Acrobat provides, but I've heard there are work around
* 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 hope this helps out some --

Sent: Monday, May 12, 2003 8:48 AM
Subject: RE: PDF advice needed

Hi Ian:

Part of my job at the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
(Ontario, Canada) is to produce Accessible PDFs and in preparation for this,
I attended a workshop from Adobe back in October 2002.

At that time, only Word 2000 or Word 2002 or current Adobe DTP products
(InDesign, PageMaker) output Accessible PDFs. I use Word 2000/2 at home and
work and all PDFs created at work for public distribution are Accessible.

You can take a PDF and run it through Acrobat's Make Accessible plugin but
that is recommended only as a last resort when the original document is not
available or the original application cannot produce Accessible PDFs. The
plugin (free download) marks up the document but all blocks are paragraphs -
for best use, headings should be marked as such and graphics should be given
proper Alternate Text.

My work does not require me to create forms so I have no experience with PDF
forms, accessible or otherwise.

If you would like me to share some notes I had created for my successor (I
am just on contract), I can do so. However, I may need a day or two to
remove some details that should not be released (password, etc.).



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