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Re: Accessible ways to read pdf documents with screenreaderson windows


From: Karen McCall
Date: Sep 1, 2021 7:37AM

I have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC which is a subscription application. I have this instead of just a PDF reader because I do try to add tags to untagged documents to see if I can quickly get something useful and I also used to do PDF remediation. Reader doesn't allow you to add tags to untagged PDF.

Yes, generally it is faster to just convert the PDF to Word in order to read it, especially if it is a long document.

If you are using adaptive technology you should get a notification that the document is not tagged if you use Adobe Reader or Acrobat. You don't get this viewing a PDF in a browser. You also get a warning if the document is scanned which you won't get when viewing a PDF in a browser. This is why forcing us to read a PDF in a browser is an accessibility barrier created by Edge, Chrome and Firefox. Our settings to use a more accessible application to access content should not be overruled by another application.

Cheers, Karen

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Vsevolod Popov
Sent: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 8:50 AM
To: 'WebAIM Discussion List' < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible ways to read pdf documents with screen readers on windows

Hello Karen,
Thank you for your answer.
So do I understand correctly that you also always use an abby finereader and convert the documents to word format to be able to read them?
Also, how do you check if the document has tags and which tags it has?
Before asking my initial question, I saw that Adobe Reader is widely used, so it's another reason why I decided asking that.
Thank you in advance!
Best regards,

-----Original Message-----
From: WebAIM-Forum < <EMAIL REMOVED> > On Behalf Of Karen McCall
Sent: Wednesday, September 1, 2021 3:19 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List < <EMAIL REMOVED> >
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Accessible ways to read pdf documents with screen readers on windows

I don't read PDF in a browser and don't like that even when I make Adobe Acrobat Pro my default PDF reader, they still open in a browser. I don't have access to some of my tools in a browser where I do in a stand alone application. I also don't know if the document is tagged or not.

I typically just save the PDF, convert it to Word and read it. That is faster than trying to read PDF in Adobe Reader or Acrobat. I use JAWS and because we are in virtual view of PDF's focus can suddenly shift to another page, the top of the document, when I get a list of headings I might be able to navigate to the heading but the second I try to read the content under the heading focus shifts back to where I was in the document.

While some of the "blame" might be the adaptive technology, an equal part of the "blame" rests with all the span tags and unnecessary tags that are added to PDF documents. I'm finding "illegal" nesting of paragraph tags in paragraph tags for a single paragraph, figures are nested in paragraphs...it is like a wild west of tagging which doesn't help when you are using adaptive technology.

Navigating Word documents is faster/

I also can't use the Find or search in a PDF...it is still inaccessible after over 15 years of asking it to be accessible.

Most of the PDF you'll find are not tagged. This means you will need to infer the reading order which isn't reliable and doesn't create true/actual tags.