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Re: Making Accessible PDF's Without Using Adobe Pro


From: Philip Kiff
Date: Mar 29, 2019 4:19PM

 I've recently been testing Microsoft Word add-ins from axes4 (axesPDF
for Word) and from CommonLook (CommonLook Office). Both of them can
indeed produce accessible, PDF/UA-compliant PDFs directly from a
properly created Word document. But they are both a bit brittle at this
point, and can't really be relied upon in an enterprise environment to
produce all your PDFs accessibly all the time.

I intend to produce a detailed review of these two products some time in
the next several months. Maybe I'll look at the Foxit Phantom Pro tool
that Karen mentions as well, since it seems to do something similar.

Also, note that the axesPDF for Word and CommonLook Office plugins for
Word both use an annual licensing model and both of them currently cost
considerably more than Acrobat Professional. Moreover, in my opinion, at
this point, they both will still periodically need someone to "fix up"
PDFs that don't get converted perfectly for whatever reason. So while
they may very well be viable options to add to a remediation workflow,
neither of them can as yet completely replace the need for Acrobat

As far as I know, at the moment, there is no full replacement for
Acrobat Professional, and it is a necessary and inescapable piece of
software required for creating proper PDFs in your organization.

Much as I resent Adobe's business model and their licensing structure,
one shouldn't forget the range of things that Acrobat can do - not just
tagging regular PDFs, but also scanning, OCR, secure signing, document
cleaning, page extraction and replacement, font embedding, complete form
creation, data collection, etc, etc, etc. Compared to the cost of the
other tools that I use to remediate broken and inaccessible PDFs, the
cost of Acrobat Professional is a steal.

axesPDF for Word:

CommonLook Office:


Philip Kiff
D4K Communications

On 2019-03-29 16:34, Karlen Communications wrote:
> I've purchased Nuance's PowerPDF Advanced and it has tools similar to Acrobat and an add in to Microsoft Office. I can create an accessible PDF from my Accessible Word document.
> I've also purchased Foxit Phantom Pro and it too has tools similar to Acrobat and a Ribbon in Word (only conversion I've tried). I didn't get a tagged PDF from the Foxit Ribbon and can't find a setting to do so, but am still looking. The Foxit tool took over my computer in terms of PDF and I had to 'turn it off" in several places. It kept fighting me when I tried to make Acrobat my default PDF tool. I have turned off every Foxit add-on for my browser and still, EVERU time I try to download a PDF I get a dialog asking me to allow Foxit to open it...and if I say don't allow, I can't download the file. This is a problem because it seems that if I open a PDF in Foxit, I can't do anything with it in Acrobat or PowerPPDF. This is REALLY annoying.
> So am still looking at both of them but am spending time trying to figure out how to stop the Foxit application from taking over my computer.
> Cheers, Karen
> Sent from my iPad
>> On Mar 29, 2019, at 3:42 PM, Jim Homme < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Is there a way to do this?
>> Thanks.
>> Jim
>> =========>> Jim Homme
>> Digital Accessibility
>> Bender Consulting Services
>> 412-787-8567
>> https://www.benderconsult.com/our%20services/hightest-accessible-technology-solutions