WebAIM - Web Accessibility In Mind

E-mail List Archives

Re: Making Accessible PDF's Without Using Adobe Pro


From: Karlen Communications
Date: Mar 30, 2019 9:58AM

Am now at my desktop computer rather than my iPad so can write a bit more.

Foxit wanted to take over everything PDF on my desktop computer. Even when I
said NOT to make it the default PDF tool, it insisted on opening EVERY PDF
in Foxit. I found that if I opened a PDF document in Foxit closed it and
then opened it in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, I couldn't do anything with it
except read it. I've found this on two documents that I allowed Foxit to
open which is why I then spent several days trying to make Foxit NOT my
default PDF tool.

Foxit does have a Tags Tree, I can use F2 to quickly edit Tags, there is an
accessibility checker. I've only done a cursory look at more extensive tools
as I've spent time trying to turn it off as my default PDF tool.

In my browser, I've turned off EVERY add-in related to Foxit that I can
find, have tried to find the setting in the foxit UI to NOT open downloaded
files in Foxit but it still comes up as wanting me to allow Foxit to open
any PDF I try to download. I now have to right click on a PDF document link
and choose Save target as if I want to save a PDF document without it
launching and opening in Foxit. If I say don't allow Foxit to open the PDF
from a website, I get a blank web page and am not able to download the PDF
unless I go back, right click on the link and Save target as. If the PDF is
associated with a download button, all bets are off, I can't download it/for
example from the Level Access site - their new white paper on digital

Yes, I've tried saying Don't Allow and then checking the check box to not
show this dialog again but Foxit isn't paying any attention and still tried
to open EVRY PDF from a website in Foxit.

Nuance's PowerPDF is more benign in that it didn't try to take over my
computer and accepted the fact that I still wanted Acrobat to be my default
PDF tool.

Nuance's PowerPDF has a Tags Tree, I can use F2 to edit tags on the fly and
can run the accessibility checker which is much like the one in Adobe
Acrobat Pro.

Both Foxit and PowerPDF say they can create accessible forms but I haven't
had time to try that yet...am still trying to find a way for Foxit NOT to
take over the downloading of PDF documents.

BTW, Foxit wouldn't even accept my going into the Windows settings and
saying that PDF documents are to be associated with Adobe Acrobat Pro. I had
to repeat this process over 5 times before I finally got Foxit to let go!

If you are looking for a different tool, I'd start with Nuance's PowerPDF
unless you have a lot of extra time and enjoy fighting with an application
for control of your computer!

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 11:49 PM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Making Accessible PDF's Without Using Adobe Pro

If you're using a recent version of MS Word/Windows, the built-in MS File /
Save As / PDF creates an accessible PDF that's just as good as one made via
the Acrobat Ribbon bar (PDF Maker). Hits all the key issues of an accessible
PDF, but there are some "inconsistencies" like P tags holding figures for
the borders of each table row, or crazy blank P tags showing up for no good

But then again, Acrobat PDF Maker has its insane quirks, too.

FoxIt now also creates accessible PDFs that are decent, but also with their
own quirks. But note that although the company states it is a US
corporation, upon investigation it appears it might have strong ties to the
Chinese government. I state this only for those who work on government
information, which in my professional opinion, should stay within US

Nuance's PDF products don't yet have accessibility features.

- - -
Bevi Chagnon, founder/CEO | <EMAIL REMOVED>
- - -
PubCom: Technologists for Accessible Design + Publishing consulting .
training . development . design . sec. 508 services Upcoming classes at
- - -
Latest blog-newsletter - Accessibility Tips at www.PubCom.com/blog

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Jim
Sent: Friday, March 29, 2019 3:43 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: [WebAIM] Making Accessible PDF's Without Using Adobe Pro

Is there a way to do this?


Jim Homme
Digital Accessibility
Bender Consulting Services