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RE: MS Office and Accessibility

From: Denise Wood <Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 00:16:41 +0930
Message-ID: <E1962E8F1DF0D411878300A0C9ACB0F9024636F7@exstaff4.magill.unisa.edu.au>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
There is indeed a MS office filter available that strips Office-specific
mark-up tags embedded in Office 2000 documents saved as Hypertext Mark-up
Language (HTML) and I have used this. However the html files are still bloated
when compared with an html file created in an html authoring environment such
as FrontPage. The solution is better than no filtering process but still less
than ideal.

I agree with Kelly that opening Office documents in the application itself will
achieve the most reliable and robust result without loss of functionality. This
is only an option if you have control over the user population and can
guarantee they have access to the appropriate software. While viewers for
Office products are free they do not allow any interactivity whereas html files
saved from some Office application.

Julian you asked what was in the Excel spreadsheet I saved as a web page and
tested with Windows Eyes and Lynx? "Just cells of data with no charts,
formulas, linked worksheets?" 
The spreadsheet does have formula attached to cells and cells do change when
variables are altered. The spreadsheet also has a linked chart which changes
according to the variables that are changed in the spreadsheet. Obviously Lynx
could not handle the visual material (ie the chart) but Windows Eyes read all
of the cells in the spreadsheet correctly - and reported the changed variables.
Windows Eyes also recognised the chart and read the labels on the x and y axis
but of course could not translate the graphical information into meaningful

Is this enough info?


Dr Denise L Wood
Lecturer: Professional Development (online teaching and learning)
University of South Australia
CE Campus, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Ph:    (61 8) 8302 2172 / (61 8) 8302 4472 (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Fax:  (61 8) 8302 2363 / (61 8) 8302 4390
Mob: (0413 648 260)

Email:	Denise.Wood@unisa.edu.au
WWW:	http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/homepage.asp?Name=Denise.Wood

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Thatcher [mailto:jim@jimthatcher.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:49 PM
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Subject: RE: MS Office and Accessibility

I fear that this may be diverging from the thread, but the subject is right
on. I was converting a large Office document to (accessible and clean) html
and very late in the process, someone told me that HTML-Kit had a specific
menu option to clean up Word 2000 documents that had been stored in html,
"Strip surplus tags in Word 2000 pages." That worked very well.

Now from Kathleen Anderson's [kathleen.anderson@po.state.ct.us] CMAC Access
list I hear Microsoft has a filter to do the same thing. It is also
educational to read why the documents are so bloated.

Here's the quote from Kathleen's message which was obviously quoting


The Office HTML Filter is a tool you can use to remove Office-specific
markup tags embedded in Office 2000 documents saved as Hypertext Markup
Language (HTML). When you create an HTML document in Office 2000,
Office-specific markup tags are embedded in it. These tags help "round-trip"
the document for editing purposes. For example, if you create the document
in Word 2000 and save it as HTML, the code embedded in the document allows
you to re-open the document in Word 2000 and use the same features you
originally used to create the page.
Once you have completed editing an HTML document in Word 2000 or Excel 2000,
you can use the Office HTML Filter to remove the Office-specific markup tags
from the final copy of the HTML document. By removing the tags, you reduce
the size of the document, which in turn reduces both the amount of space
used on Web servers as well as the time it takes to download the page. For
additional information about the benefits and disadvantages of removing the
Office-specific markup tags, read Use Office HTML Filter to Create Web Pages
that Download Faster.

Accessibility Consulting
Received on Tuesday, 23 October 2001 10:46:48 UTC

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