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Thread: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?

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Number of posts in this thread: 8 (In chronological order)

From: Paul J. Adam
Date: Mon, Apr 16 2012 2:32PM
Subject: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
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I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if PDF forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who is blind using VoiceOver? Do accessible, electronically fillable forms work in the Preview App? I tried testing some with Preview that I thought would be accessible and they did not work at all.

I installed Adobe Reader for OS X and it would not read any information in the PDF at all. Using Adobe Reader, VoceOver will not read anything in a PDF, form or not, outside of the close, minimize, zoom button, and the title.

Preview will read PDF files using VoiceOver but will not read fillable forms when tabbing through the fields like a windows screen reader such as NVDA would.

From some quick testing I'm assuming that PDF files are not accessible to VoiceOver users with Adobe Reader. Preview is the best app to read PDF files but does not work with fillable forms.

This is one of the major reasons I advocate using only HTML forms and docs over PDF or Office formats.

Hopefully someone can prove me wrong here?

Thanks!



Paul J. Adam
Accessibility Evangelist
Deque Systems
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
www.PaulJAdam.com
@pauljadam on Twitter

From: Duff Johnson
Date: Mon, Apr 16 2012 2:58PM
Subject: Re: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
← Previous message | Next message →

On Apr 16, 2012, at 4:32 PM, Paul J. Adam wrote:

> I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if PDF forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who is blind using VoiceOver? Do accessible, electronically fillable forms work in the Preview App? I tried testing some with Preview that I thought would be accessible and they did not work at all.

Preview is very, very bad when it comes to PDF in all sorts of ways. And yes - accessibility is (one of) those problems.

> I installed Adobe Reader for OS X and it would not read any information in the PDF at all. Using Adobe Reader, VoceOver will not read anything in a PDF, form or not, outside of the close, minimize, zoom button, and the title.

This is Apple's choice (so far as I know). I do not know why they choose this.

> Preview will read PDF files using VoiceOver

My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that VoiceOver does not read PDF tags; it simply regurgitates the content without structure. Can you navigate a list or table using VoiceOver and Preview?

> From some quick testing I'm assuming that PDF files are not accessible to VoiceOver users with Adobe Reader.

It would, perhaps, be more accurate to say: accessible PDFs aren't supported in VoiceOver.

This way you know who is responsible.

Best regards,

Duff Johnson

President, NetCentric US
ISO 32000 Intl. Project Co-Leader, US Chair
ISO 14289 US Chair
PDF Association Vice-Chair

Office: +1 617 401 8140
Mobile: +1 617 283 4226
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
www.net-centric.com

This e-mail message is confidential, may be privileged and is intended for the exclusive use of the addressee(s). Any other person is strictly prohibited from disclosing, distributing or reproducing it. If the addressee(s) cannot be reached or is unknown to you, please inform the sender by return e-mail immediately and delete this e-mail message and destroy all copies.

From: Paul J. Adam
Date: Mon, Apr 16 2012 6:07PM
Subject: Re: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
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Yep you're correct Preview is not reading any PDF tags, no headings, no alt text, no tables, nothing. It does read the text though which is better than Adobe Reader but WOW the state of PDFs on the Mac is terrible!

As far as being it being Apple's choice to not let Adobe Reader be accessible I'm not sure if that make sense. Google Chrome is mostly accessible on the Mac and Mozilla Firefox is working on making their browser accessible now. I don't know the technical complications or limitations of making PDF readers vs. HTML browsers accessible on a Mac but it seems like it would be possible.

I asked someone from Apple at CSUN why MS Office is not accessible on the Mac and they said they can't make their software developers create accessible apps and it's pretty much the developer's (Microsoft's) responsibility.

It's too bad HTML forms can't actually store input data to be saved and attached to emails like PDF, Word, & Excel forms are so frequently used for.

I wonder how blind Mac-only users do their taxes?

Paul J. Adam
Accessibility Evangelist
Deque Systems
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
www.PaulJAdam.com
@pauljadam on Twitter

On Apr 16, 2012, at 3:58 PM, Duff Johnson wrote:

> On Apr 16, 2012, at 4:32 PM, Paul J. Adam wrote:
>
>> I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if PDF forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who is blind using VoiceOver? Do accessible, electronically fillable forms work in the Preview App? I tried testing some with Preview that I thought would be accessible and they did not work at all.
>
> Preview is very, very bad when it comes to PDF in all sorts of ways. And yes - accessibility is (one of) those problems.
>
>> I installed Adobe Reader for OS X and it would not read any information in the PDF at all. Using Adobe Reader, VoceOver will not read anything in a PDF, form or not, outside of the close, minimize, zoom button, and the title.
>
> This is Apple's choice (so far as I know). I do not know why they choose this.
>
>> Preview will read PDF files using VoiceOver
>
> My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that VoiceOver does not read PDF tags; it simply regurgitates the content without structure. Can you navigate a list or table using VoiceOver and Preview?
>
>> From some quick testing I'm assuming that PDF files are not accessible to VoiceOver users with Adobe Reader.
>
> It would, perhaps, be more accurate to say: accessible PDFs aren't supported in VoiceOver.
>
> This way you know who is responsible.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Duff Johnson
>
> President, NetCentric US
> ISO 32000 Intl. Project Co-Leader, US Chair
> ISO 14289 US Chair
> PDF Association Vice-Chair
>
> Office: +1 617 401 8140
> Mobile: +1 617 283 4226
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> www.net-centric.com
>
> This e-mail message is confidential, may be privileged and is intended for the exclusive use of the addressee(s). Any other person is strictly prohibited from disclosing, distributing or reproducing it. If the addressee(s) cannot be reached or is unknown to you, please inform the sender by return e-mail immediately and delete this e-mail message and destroy all copies.
>
>
> > >

From: Lucy Greco
Date: Mon, Apr 16 2012 6:25PM
Subject: Re: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
← Previous message | Next message →

TO listen TO MAC ZEALOTS EVERY THING CAN BE DONE ON A MAC SO MAYBE THEY DON'T PAY TAX'S GRIN. I KNOW ONE STUDENT THAT DOES IT VIA A WEB SITE SMILE

Lucy Greco
Assistive Technology Specialist
Disabled Student's Program UC Berkeley
(510) 643-7591
http://attlc.berkeley.edu
http://webaccess.berkeley.edu


-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Paul J. Adam
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 5:08 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: Re: [WebAIM] Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?

Yep you're correct Preview is not reading any PDF tags, no headings, no alt text, no tables, nothing. It does read the text though which is better than Adobe Reader but WOW the state of PDFs on the Mac is terrible!

As far as being it being Apple's choice to not let Adobe Reader be accessible I'm not sure if that make sense. Google Chrome is mostly accessible on the Mac and Mozilla Firefox is working on making their browser accessible now. I don't know the technical complications or limitations of making PDF readers vs. HTML browsers accessible on a Mac but it seems like it would be possible.

I asked someone from Apple at CSUN why MS Office is not accessible on the Mac and they said they can't make their software developers create accessible apps and it's pretty much the developer's (Microsoft's) responsibility.

It's too bad HTML forms can't actually store input data to be saved and attached to emails like PDF, Word, & Excel forms are so frequently used for.

I wonder how blind Mac-only users do their taxes?

Paul J. Adam
Accessibility Evangelist
Deque Systems
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
www.PaulJAdam.com
@pauljadam on Twitter

On Apr 16, 2012, at 3:58 PM, Duff Johnson wrote:

> On Apr 16, 2012, at 4:32 PM, Paul J. Adam wrote:
>
>> I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if PDF forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who is blind using VoiceOver? Do accessible, electronically fillable forms work in the Preview App? I tried testing some with Preview that I thought would be accessible and they did not work at all.
>
> Preview is very, very bad when it comes to PDF in all sorts of ways. And yes - accessibility is (one of) those problems.
>
>> I installed Adobe Reader for OS X and it would not read any information in the PDF at all. Using Adobe Reader, VoceOver will not read anything in a PDF, form or not, outside of the close, minimize, zoom button, and the title.
>
> This is Apple's choice (so far as I know). I do not know why they choose this.
>
>> Preview will read PDF files using VoiceOver
>
> My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that VoiceOver does not read PDF tags; it simply regurgitates the content without structure. Can you navigate a list or table using VoiceOver and Preview?
>
>> From some quick testing I'm assuming that PDF files are not accessible to VoiceOver users with Adobe Reader.
>
> It would, perhaps, be more accurate to say: accessible PDFs aren't supported in VoiceOver.
>
> This way you know who is responsible.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Duff Johnson
>
> President, NetCentric US
> ISO 32000 Intl. Project Co-Leader, US Chair
> ISO 14289 US Chair
> PDF Association Vice-Chair
>
> Office: +1 617 401 8140
> Mobile: +1 617 283 4226
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> www.net-centric.com
>
> This e-mail message is confidential, may be privileged and is intended for the exclusive use of the addressee(s). Any other person is strictly prohibited from disclosing, distributing or reproducing it. If the addressee(s) cannot be reached or is unknown to you, please inform the sender by return e-mail immediately and delete this e-mail message and destroy all copies.
>
>
> > >

From: John E Brandt
Date: Tue, Apr 17 2012 8:57AM
Subject: Re: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
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As others have stated in this thread, this is an Adobe issue not an Apple
issue. There are many programs/applications for the Mac OS that existed
before VoiceOver (VO) was developed. In an effort to be
backwards-compatible, these applications still work with the latest versions
of the OS but not necessarily with all of the OS features such as VO. The
application developer is often faced with the cost of re-building the
application from scratch to accommodate the new OS features. For whatever
reason, Adobe has not done this.

Microsoft has also been slow to update their applications for the Mac. They
moved halfway with MS Office for Mac 2011 by making the application itself
compatible with VO (The 2003 version of MS Office for Mac is not able to use
any of VO). But ironically, you cannot read the content (the actual)
document in the application with VO.

I just tested several PDFs with Preview on the Mac with VO and Adobe Acrobat
Reader for Mac OSX using the Read Out Loud feature in Acrobat Reader to see
what it would do; basically, the same results with all documents.

~j

John E. Brandt
www.jebswebs.com
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
207-622-7937
Augusta, Maine, USA

-----Original Message-----
From: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
[mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ] On Behalf Of Paul J. Adam
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 4:33 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?

I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if PDF
forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who is
blind using VoiceOver? Do accessible, electronically fillable forms work in
the Preview App? I tried testing some with Preview that I thought would be
accessible and they did not work at all.

I installed Adobe Reader for OS X and it would not read any information in
the PDF at all. Using Adobe Reader, VoceOver will not read anything in a
PDF, form or not, outside of the close, minimize, zoom button, and the
title.

Preview will read PDF files using VoiceOver but will not read fillable forms
when tabbing through the fields like a windows screen reader such as NVDA
would.

From some quick testing I'm assuming that PDF files are not accessible to
VoiceOver users with Adobe Reader. Preview is the best app to read PDF files
but does not work with fillable forms.

This is one of the major reasons I advocate using only HTML forms and docs
over PDF or Office formats.

Hopefully someone can prove me wrong here?

Thanks!



Paul J. Adam
Accessibility Evangelist
Deque Systems
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
www.PaulJAdam.com
@pauljadam on Twitter

messages to = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =

From: SusanN.Payne@dars.state.tx.us
Date: Tue, Apr 17 2012 9:20AM
Subject: Re: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
← Previous message | Next message →

I have not tried reading PDFs with VoiceOver but have successfully used the Read Out Loud feature in Adobe Reader on a Mac.

Susan Payne
Accessibility Specialist
DARS, Center for Policy and External Relations
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
(512) 377-0366



-----Original Message-----
From: Paul J. Adam [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 3:33 PM
To: WebAIM Discussion List
Subject: [WebAIM] Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?

I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if PDF forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who is blind using VoiceOver?

From: Paul J. Adam
Date: Tue, Apr 17 2012 9:46AM
Subject: Re: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
← Previous message | Next message →

Hi Susan, thanks for the tip! I tried the Read Out Loud feature on a DARS Form which I know are accessible ;) and to my surprise if you first turn on read out loud then tab through the form it actually works just like in Windows w/ NVDA or JAWS. It even reads the hidden form fields ya'll use for info text. And I can use VO+M to get into the menu bar and activate the read out loud feature using VoiceOver. You should consider including this info on HHS website's PDF accessibility help sections!

Strangely though when trying read out loud on non-form documents with text only, images, and tables it did not work at all really. At least accessible forms work! That's something :)

Now I wonder if it's possible to fill out PDF forms on an iPhone or iPad!

Paul J. Adam
Accessibility Evangelist
Deque Systems
= EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
www.PaulJAdam.com
@pauljadam on Twitter

On Apr 17, 2012, at 10:20 AM, < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:

> I have not tried reading PDFs with VoiceOver but have successfully used the Read Out Loud feature in Adobe Reader on a Mac.
>
> Susan Payne
> Accessibility Specialist
> DARS, Center for Policy and External Relations
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> (512) 377-0366
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Paul J. Adam [mailto: = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = ]
> Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 3:33 PM
> To: WebAIM Discussion List
> Subject: [WebAIM] Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
>
> I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if PDF forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who is blind using VoiceOver?
>
> > >

From: Sailesh Panchang
Date: Tue, Apr 17 2012 10:36AM
Subject: Re: Are PDF forms accessible on Mac?
← Previous message | No next message

> It would, perhaps, be more accurate to say: accessible PDFs aren't supported
> in VoiceOver.
>
> This way you know who is responsible.
Sailesh: I suppose that's apt. And perhaps the answer lies (if I am
interpreting it correctly) in the widely read biography on Apple's
late founder. Mr. Jobs had not got the tech-cooperation he had sought
from Adobe and that had irked him(this was over a decade ago) and
thereafter he persevered to keep out access to Adobe's products from
Apple's products. And I suppose this has continued.
Sailesh


On 4/16/12, Duff Johnson < = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED = > wrote:
> On Apr 16, 2012, at 4:32 PM, Paul J. Adam wrote:
>
>> I'm wondering if anyone on this list has any experience with or knows if
>> PDF forms on the Mac are accessible? Can they be filled out by someone who
>> is blind using VoiceOver? Do accessible, electronically fillable forms
>> work in the Preview App? I tried testing some with Preview that I thought
>> would be accessible and they did not work at all.
>
> Preview is very, very bad when it comes to PDF in all sorts of ways. And
> yes - accessibility is (one of) those problems.
>
>> I installed Adobe Reader for OS X and it would not read any information in
>> the PDF at all. Using Adobe Reader, VoceOver will not read anything in a
>> PDF, form or not, outside of the close, minimize, zoom button, and the
>> title.
>
> This is Apple's choice (so far as I know). I do not know why they choose
> this.
>
>> Preview will read PDF files using VoiceOver
>
> My understanding (please correct me if I'm wrong) is that VoiceOver does not
> read PDF tags; it simply regurgitates the content without structure. Can you
> navigate a list or table using VoiceOver and Preview?
>
>> From some quick testing I'm assuming that PDF files are not accessible to
>> VoiceOver users with Adobe Reader.
>
> It would, perhaps, be more accurate to say: accessible PDFs aren't supported
> in VoiceOver.
>
> This way you know who is responsible.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Duff Johnson
>
> President, NetCentric US
> ISO 32000 Intl. Project Co-Leader, US Chair
> ISO 14289 US Chair
> PDF Association Vice-Chair
>
> Office: +1 617 401 8140
> Mobile: +1 617 283 4226
> = EMAIL ADDRESS REMOVED =
> www.net-centric.com
>
> This e-mail message is confidential, may be privileged and is intended for
> the exclusive use of the addressee(s). Any other person is strictly
> prohibited from disclosing, distributing or reproducing it. If the
> addressee(s) cannot be reached or is unknown to you, please inform the
> sender by return e-mail immediately and delete this e-mail message and
> destroy all copies.
>
>
> > > >