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Re: accessibility of tables in downloadable docs

From: David Woolley <david@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 07:11:39 +0000 (GMT)
Message-Id: <200111210711.fAL7Bdc02743@djwhome.demon.co.uk>
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
> written in word and provided as downloadable files. I ask the question
> because many organisations provide downloadable documents on their websites,
> often in MS Word format. If such a document contained data which had been

MS Word binary documents are inaccessible to those that don't run
Microsoft Windows (Star Office can cope with some older versions of Word,
but the file format specification is now only provided on the condition
that it not be used to implement such programs).

Those who only run a baseline version of Windows, are forced to
download a Word Viewer, and I doubt that many home users have 
actually done so.  Generally the Word Viewer for the current version
of Word will only run on a reasonably current version of Windows.

I don't know what non-visual support is in Word or Word Viewer - I 
suspect there is little in Word Viewer.

RTF is slightly better, although I'd reccommend people to look at
the specification - I'm not convinced that you can write a successful
reader without knowing the binary Word file format; it's basically
just a linearised text encoding of that binary format.  As generated
by Word, it is not directly readable in any sensible way, although
it may be readable by rather more competing products.
Received on Wednesday, 21 November 2001 02:13:31 UTC

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