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Re: Testing PDfs for accessiblilty


From: Allayne Woodford
Date: Jul 17, 2017 5:31PM

Hi Alan,

I'm a frequent user and fan of Commonlook. Granted, it's an Acrobat plug-in and is quite costly but for the volume of work I have I think it's well worth it, and I was skeptical at first. It allows for super quick markup of tables, one-step removal of empty tags, removal of role maps from InDesign styles (love this feature!) an undo feature, and the ability to tag something once then tag all the same text styles in one go. This is great for headings.

Commonlook doesn't auto-generate tags, you would still need to do that in Acrobat for a 'No tags available' PDF but it gives you something to work with. Using just Acrobat Pro for PDF remediation, particularly when you don't have the source document, is not something I'd want to go back to.

Ally Woodford
Accessibility Services Manager
Media Access Australia
Direct Line: 02 8378 5003   Mobile: 0419 460 797
Level 3, 616 – 620 Harris St, Ultimo NSW 2007   Ph: (02) 9212 6242
www.mediaaccess.org.au   www.digitalaccess.com.au  

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Angela French
Sent: Tuesday, 18 July 2017 8:31 AM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Testing PDfs for accessiblilty

Hmmmm, I might have written this myself! Eager to see the suggestions.

Angela French

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Alan Zaitchik
Sent: Monday, July 17, 2017 3:29 PM
Subject: [WebAIM] Testing PDfs for accessiblilty

I have finally convinced my superiors that it¹s time we look at tools other than Acrobat Pro for testing and remediating issues with PDFs.
They prefer, obviously, not to spend money, but might be cajoled into a small investment. I¹m sure better tools will save money almost immediately given the inordinate amount of time I am spending at present with Acrobat.

My question is: what would you recommend as an alternative to Acorbat Pro for the various aspects of accessibility testing and remediation, in particular the tags structures?

We get PDF documents from various sources: InDesign, Word, Powerpoint, sometimes Excel ‹ and sometimes we have no idea where. There is always a crushing amount of work required to straighten out the tags, and of course any subsequent edit of content seems to play havoc with the tags and spoil the work done up to that point. I rely on Role Mapping, and so on, but the fact is that the tag structure is often (usually) wildly broken. We are very frustrated by both the Autotag feature of Acrobat as well as the ³Save as PDF² plugins in Word and Powerpoint, assuming that they bear some of the responsibility, too, for the bad results. No matter how we try in Word and InDesign and Powerpoint, when the document is brought into Acrobat (and auto tagged if need be) the results are always unacceptable.

Can anyone recommend a tool that autogenerates clean tag structures that conform to HTML5-like semantics? Is there a better way to generate PDFs from Word, Powerpoint, etc. than the usual Save as PDF options in those products?

Thanks for suggestions.

Alan Zaitchik

Center for Social Innovation
200 Reservoir Street
Needham, MA 02494