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Re: Is MS Excel considered web content?

From: Gregg Vanderheiden <gv@trace.wisc.edu>
Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 16:55:25 -0500
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Cc: 'List WAI GL' <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>, 'Loretta Guarino Reid' <lorettaguarino@google.com>, 'Judy Brewer' <jbrewer@w3.org>
Message-id: <510D6422-9E66-42CA-B335-83AA7A8CEC1C@trace.wisc.edu>
The distinction I think is pretty generic.

for all information on the web. 

if they are intended to be viewed through a browser -- then they are web content

if they are intended (or only allowed) to be downloaded and viewed with another application  - then they are not. 

Gregg Vanderheiden Ph.D.
Director Trace R&D Center
Professor Industrial & Systems Engineering
and Biomedical Engineering
University of Wisconsin-Madison

On May 10, 2011, at 4:46 PM, David MacDonald wrote:

> Itís long been bantered around whether MS Word documents and MS Excel documents posted online are considered web content. It probably depends on the context, which weíve never defined, that Iím aware of. Is Excel a user agent... whew!... now thereís a debate... sure it could be... I guess.
> Iím tasked with addressing the accessibility of a huge set of financial documents that are online, 10 volumes of over 3,300 pages and over 500 tables of financial data, in PDF format for a government agency. The PDF financial tables and accompanying text were created from Ventura, which imported them using a process that converts spreadsheets into text for publication of hard copy. The ďspeadsheetsĒ as a result, after being imported are no longer tabular but rather text, comma delimited... no way to turn them into tables in the PDF tag tree, and not screen reader accessible. So they violate 1.3.1, and an incredible burden of over 5 years to migrate.
> In the meantime, Iím recommending they adapt the original Excel spreadsheets and post them as an alternative, the best way to give access to the financial data to a screen reader user (with a bunch of other preparation details Iíll leave out here).
> However, we donít have any techniques for Excel, and that caused them to question of whether it is actually web content.
> If itís not web content, then is it a conforming alternative? If not an alternative, can it pass WCAG, because alternatives have to be content....
> Thoughts?
> David MacDonald
> www.eramp.com
Received on Tuesday, 10 May 2011 21:55:55 UTC

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