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Front Page and Publisher

From: Anne Pemberton <apembert@crosslink.net>
Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 08:30:13 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: Heather Swayne <hswayne@microsoft.com>, "'w3c-wai-gl@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
	Your note announcing your role in the MS Office authoring tools caught my
eye. Others will answer your questions about tables, but I'd like to make
some suggestions to simplify user's ability to make compliant pages.

	First, and most critical, would be to allow the user of Publisher to be
able to access the HTML code after a page has been saved to HTML and the
code has been created. At present, in order to add alt tags or otherwise
massage the HTML, it is necessary to leave publisher, pull the completed
page up in Front Page and add or delete code there. Everytime the page is
updated, this massage in Front Page must be repeated. Publisher, in
creating the HTML now renames all graphics as img0, img1, img2, etc, so
that it is necessary for that massage to complete even the simpliest
compliance to the guidelines. Further, Publisher makes frequent use of a
blank image for spacing, which means that this massage is frequently
necessary. Another problem is that Publisher will automatically create an
image of a text box that is either on top of any part of an image, and this
conversion isn't apparent until it's brought up in Front Page so that the
user has to add the text embedded in the new image in the alt tag. Again,
requiring a high level of knowledge and massaging in Front Page. 

	Both Front Page and Publisher would be easier to use if, when a graphic or
other file (such as a sound file, etc.) were inserted, a screen appeared
where the user could insert the alt tag, and perhaps a properly set up Long
Desc. You cannot add an alt tag at all from Publisher, and in Front Page
you have to know to pull up the "image properties" in order to get the
screen to correct the alt tag from just showing the file name and size. 

	While I'm discussing graphics in the MS authoring tools, let me add a
suggestion I will make to the group more formally after there is better
acceptance of the necessity of graphics on the web. There should be an easy
way to provide full sized graphics that can be reached by clicking on a
small version of the image on the page. This is a benefit not only to
cognitively disabled folks who need graphics for understanding, but to
those of limited vision who can enlarge text but not graphics in the
current browsers. 

	It would be great if the authoring tools would re-sample the graphic to
the size the user sets WYSIWYG in Front Page or publisher, creating the
small image so that the page can load quickly, but preserving, and either
automatically linking to the full sized image or offering the author the
choice  to do this or not. 

	A few weeks ago the county schools I work for signed on with Family
Education to put their web pages on the myschoolonline.com server, and, in
order for this to be used to full advantage, teachers, some with minimal
computer skills, need to learn to make web pages without adding
substantially to their time or overburdening their learning curve. The
company provides an online way to create basic text messages on pages,
simple announcement or a substitute "form" to print and send to school
(e.g. trip permissions) when the original was lost on the bus. The training
included learning to use Word to create pages offline, and Front Page works
well too. Publisher cannot be used, despite its advantages in placing text
and graphics, because you can't get at the source code to copy and paste it
to the site. 

	If these suggestions are already "in the works", I will be happy to pass
on that fact to those of us who will be training to teachers to use this
new resource for communicating with parents and community. Thanks for your
time in considering these suggestions.


Anne L. Pemberton
Enabling Support Foundation
Received on Thursday, 16 March 2000 09:19:59 UTC

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