W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-gl@w3.org > April to June 2011

Re: What products export tagged PDF

From: Christophe Strobbe <Christophe.Strobbe@esat.kuleuven.be>
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 13:36:49 +0200
To: <team-wcag-editors@w3.org>, List WAI GL <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <05c627d33c93613197d7a702ffe96e70@esat.kuleuven.be>
Hi David,

On Mon, 18 Apr 2011 22:10:04 -0400, David MacDonald
> In light of comments that we need to be more vendor neutral in our
> discussion of PDF technology and not so centred on mainstream producers,
> took an action item to survey PDF creation tools, and discuss their
> of tags and accessibility, and their inclusion in our documents. 
> I don't think we should reward PDF producers that don't create tagged
> just for the sake of appearing "open". On the other hand, producers that
> make an effort to create tools that produce tagged PDF should have as a
> natural consequence of that effort a simple acknowledgment that they can
> make tagged PDF. Here are my findings after a couple of hours of tests.
> would be glad for anyone else to kick in their experience.
> Foxit
> Although it allows for the editing of text within a PDF document, and
> reveals the properties of text snips in PDF documents, it does not, in
> investigation, provide any way to edit tags or even view them. In
> to spending the better part of an hour with it, a search of their
> as
> an attempt to see if they were buried somewhere, provides no search
> for the word "Tag" or "Accessibility". I conclude that it cannot be used
> achieve compliance with WCAG, and therefore recommend that it not be
> included as a tool at the current time.
> Free PDF XP
> Tiny program, gives no access to tags
> PDF Edit
> No access to tags.
> Google Docs
> No tags on export.
> MacOS
> No tags on any export of any software product
> Programs that produced accessible tags were:
> -Adobe Acrobat

Should we warn against confusing Adobe Acrobat (Pro, Standard), with Adobe

> -MS Word 2007

Microsoft Word 2007 with the add-in "Microsoft Save as PDF" or the add-in
"Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS". As far as I know, you need to install the
extension separately.
 * <http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/save-as-pdf-HA010064992.aspx>

With Microsoft Office 2010 you no longer need the add-in, because PDF
support is included in the Office functionality:


With older versions of Microsoft Office, you need to install Adobe
Acrobat, which installs the Adobe PDFMaker (sic!) extension for Office (you
get an "Adobe PDF" menu and an "Adobe PDFMaker" toolbar.

> -Open Office 

OpenOffice.org's future is no longer certain since Oracle decided to stop
investing in it:
However, LibreOffice <http://www.libreoffice.org/> can also export tagged
PDF. (Just as in OpenOffice.org, you need to check the "Tagged PDF"
checkbox; it then remembers this setting for future exports. Note that in
both OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice, the PDF options contain a PDF/A
option; checking this option also checks the "Tagged PDF" option.)

> -Corel Word Perfect claims to export to tagged PDF (But I didn't test

I found this claim at

> There does not appear to be any other serious PDF tool that gives
> if
> anyone else knows of a product that produces an accessibly tagged PDF,
> free to kick in.

iText is an open-source PDF library (not an end-user product!!) in Java
that appears to have some support for tagged PDF (if you know the PDF spec
well enough): <http://sourceforge.net/news/?group_id=15255>,

Best regards,


> Cheers
> David MacDonald
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Loretta Guarino Reid [mailto:lorettaguarino@google.com] 
> Sent: April-14-11 6:47 PM
> To: David MacDonald
> Subject: Your PDF tool research
> David, would you mind writing up the results of your investigation of
> the PDF tools and viewers and emailing it, possibly to the WCAG list
> but definitely to the WCAG-editors list?
> Thanks, Loretta

Christophe Strobbe
K.U.Leuven - Dept. of Electrical Engineering - SCD
Research Group on Document Architectures
Kasteelpark Arenberg 10 bus 2442
B-3001 Leuven-Heverlee
tel: +32 16 32 85 51 
Twitter: @RabelaisA11y
Received on Tuesday, 19 April 2011 11:37:22 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 16 January 2018 15:34:07 UTC