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Re: Average Time to Create an Accessible PDF


From: Duff Johnson
Date: Dec 4, 2017 12:59PM

Hi Joan,

It’s certainly the case that PDF is commonly mis-used. That said, I would advise against getting rid of all PDFs as a point of principle. PDF is fundamentally useful when…

- You need a document of record
- You need a deliverable document (i.e., one that does not depend on a connection, remote server, etc.
- You need a fixed-format (unchanging appearance) document irrespective of the software used to view it
- You need a document with inherent digital signature and/or encryption facilities
- You need a document that delivers excellent results when printed, or to meet specific high-end printing criteria
- You need a document that includes the ability to include other content (3D data, videos, arbitrary attachments) in the same deliverable as the file itself

There are other use-cases, but these are among the biggest.


> On Dec 4, 2017, at 14:12, Concilio, Joan < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I'm going to play devil's advocate here and ask if there is a specific business reason why the final accessible format needs to be a PDF. It's been our experience (and we've dealt with something like 3,000 documents in the past year alone) that most of the time, the best solution for both UX and accessibility has been "something else" - accessible webform, content presented properly on a page, something (gasp) not presented online at all because it wasn't appropriate for the broad audience, etc. Our college has gone from the aforementioned 3,000 PDF documents to less than 10 since fall 2016.
> That takes more time up front, but now we are at a place where I can convert a single page of almost any type of content, including complex tables and images, in about a half-hour or less, using systems we've developed... AND you can read them easily on mobile too! As others have mentioned, having the real original document is a big piece of that - if we're dealing with something that has been, like, scanned and OCR'd, all bets are off on time.
> Joan Concilio, web content and design specialist for research
> Penn State College of Medicine
> <EMAIL REMOVED> | 717-531-5674
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Zack Davis [mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ]
> Sent: Monday, December 04, 2017 3:22 AM
> Subject: [WebAIM] Average Time to Create an Accessible PDF
> Hey everyone,
> I'm looking for something that's a rather simplistic view of a complex process. What I'm curious about is what everyone considers to be the average time it takes them to make a single page document (Word, PDF, HTML) that is inaccessible and output it as an accessible PDF.
> If you have an exact number that's awesome! If you only have a rough estimate that's cool too! To make it a little easier, if you were given
> 1,000 pages of varying content with varying degrees of remediation complexity. What would your estimate be to complete a single random page from that stack of 1,000?
> The purpose of this question is partially curiosity but also is that I'm wanting to look at ways to possibly scale document remediation in a way that reduces costs to clients while also maintaining a high standard that doesn't result in non-conforming documents. While I know how long I would estimate, that's only a single measurement so I'm hoping to get more estimated averages to get a larger perspective.
> Zack Davis
> > > >