W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2001

Comments on PDF Techniques doc

From: Wendy A Chisholm <wendy@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 16 May 2001 19:11:01 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: ryladog@earthlink.net, kshea@apollo.fedworld.gov, lguarino@Adobe.COM
Cc: w3c-wai-gl@w3.org, Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
Hello Katie and Loretta,

Thanks for working on this!  Sorry I haven't commented in more detail sooner.

Here are my comments on the PDF Techniques for WCAG found at 

1. I think we should include version numbers in the title: PDF Techniques 
for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and 2.0

2. In the abstract it says, "Because PDF is a Page Description Language, 
not intended to be edited directly, these techniques are intended 
particularly for the developers of authoring tools that generate PDF as an 
output format."  Since that is the case, perhaps most of these should be 
incorporated into the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Techniques 
[1].  Particularly, in relation to techniques for Content Management Tools 
which ATAG-TECHS defines as, "Tools that assist authors to create and 
organize specific types of Web content without the author having control 
over the markup or programming implementation."

However, I think that if you explain how authors can use the tools to get 
these results, that will be very appropriate for WCAG.  Does that exist 
somewhere already that we can point into?  For example, does Adobe have a 
document that describes how to use Adobe tools to create accessible PDF 
documents?  If so, is it on the Web?  If it is, then we can list WCAG 
1.0/2.0 checkpoints and point into the appropriate places in the Adobe 

For example, I found section 7 "Foreground and Background colors" really 
helpful.  Are there more tips like this?

Also, under Guideline 2, section 1.1 (Render characters and words in 
reading order).  Is there a way to say, "here is how to create characters 
and words so that they are rendered in reading order"?

3. I don't understand how the sections are numbered - is that part of what 
you wanted us to ignore?

4. Are the "Deprecated Technique Examples" under Guideline 2 section 1.1 
bad examples? That wasn't clear.

5. Section 3.2 (Tag artifacts in the page contents) - I'm not sure how that 
relates to checkpoint 5.1, 5.2, and 5.4 since it is mostly about pagination 
and layout.  Can you associate row and column headers with data cells in 
PDF?  or Linearize layout tables?

6. Section 6 (Document navigation) - needs work. It doesn't seem complete.

7. Section 1.5, I think the most appropriate WCAG 1.0 checkpoints are
   13.2 (Provide metadata to add semantic information to pages and sites. 
[Priority 2]). For example, to specify the character set in HTML you would 
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">

also: 3.2 Create documents that validate to published formal grammars. 
[Priority 2]
and perhaps also
4.3 Identify the primary natural language of a document. [Priority 3]

But, I'm not completely sure what 1.5 means.  Is it saying, "use unicode 
characters?"  I'm not familiar with the ins and outs of unicode, so perhaps 
someone else can make a better suggestion.

8. Section 8 - you ask if anyone has ideas for which checkpoints 
apply.  I'm not sure.

9. Some of these techniques seem dependent on the PDF Accessibility 
plug-in.  Therefore you should reference UAAG and perhaps submit some 
techniques to them as well.

10. I'm anxious to see a mapping to WCAG 2.0 checkpoints because I wonder 
if you've identified requirements that we don't cover in either WCAG 1.0 or 
in WCAG 2.0 and that we ought to incorporate in 2.0.

Thanks again!  I look forward to your responses.  Be well,

[1] http://www.w3.org/WAI/AU/WD-ATAG10-TECHS-20010319/

wendy a chisholm
world wide web consortium
web accessibility initiative
seattle, wa usa
tel: +1 206.706.5263
Received on Wednesday, 16 May 2001 19:08:30 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:33:37 UTC