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*SPAM* RE: Desktop Publishing to Accessible Webs

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From: Sesock, Kevin A
Date: Feb 22, 2006 3:20PM


And, of course, when it comes to how we do this in the future, I'm
certainly open to ideas. Your structured HTML first method is
interesting. Just not sure if we can have the people who develop the
newsletter (who granted, are not technical) learn a completely new
method.

I should also mention that I'm trying to cut back on caffeine.
Therefore, wherever I mentioned "Frontpage", I meant "MS Publisher".
Both of those give me the shudders, and I think my subconscious simply
lumped them into the mental filing cabinet of "things that suck."

But the other problem I listed, of course, is what to do now. I've got
an MS Publisher file that I need to get converted. I can use their
built-in exporter to html, but the code is so dirty I can't do anything
with it. HTML Tidy even chokes on the output, and it's just causing me
nothing but a molehill-cum-mountain of headaches to turn this into
accessible, clean HTML.

Kevin A. Sesock, A+, Net+, CNA, MCSA
Assistive Technology Specialist
Student Disability Services
Division of Student Affairs
Oklahoma State University

http://access.it.okstate.edu

"Hail to the speaker, hail to the knower. Joy to he who has understood,
delight to they who have listened." - Odin

-----Original Message-----
From: <EMAIL REMOVED>
[mailto: <EMAIL REMOVED> ] On Behalf Of Austin,
Darrel
Sent: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 4:08 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: RE: [WebAIM] Desktop Publishing to Accessible Webs


> One, is anyone aware of any desktop publishing package that
> will convert to an accessible web? Every semester, our office
> puts out a paper newsletter that then has to be converted to
> the web. So far, I've tried out FrontPage and PageMaker, and
> neither seem to create clean HTML that is highly usable
> (FrontPage, of course, being the most horrific).

That's sort of a backwards way to go.

Most desktop publishing apps are designed for print presentation. They
really don't care too much about semantics. As such, it's hard to go
from unstructured content to accessible, structured, semantic content.
DTPs are typically the 'last stop' for the content...not the source
repository.

Some DTP apps, however, can import structured text...namely Framemaker
and Indesign. I haven't done much with indesign (I've been out of the
print world for a while) but my understanding is that it can import copy
as XML.

Of course, at this point, the catch is that someone needs to make the
content in some sort of structured editor to begin with.

Ideally, you'd then be going from that source document to both web and
to print.

Based on your set up, I'd suggest channging the workflow. Start in HTML.
Have someone write the articles in clean, simple, semantic HTML. This
could even be done in MS Word if the person is capable of using Word
formatting properly and you have access to something like HTML Tidy to
clean up the markup.

Then, from there, send a copy to the print designer, and a copy to the
web designer and have them publish from there.

(or, even better, maybe skip the print newsletter all together and save
a tree...but that's another debate ;o)

-Darrel