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Re: Accessing PDFs

From: Aaron Smith <aaron@gwmicro.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2002 11:40:20 -0500
Message-Id: <>
To: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>, "WAI (w3c-wai-ig@w3.org)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Quite the opposite. With the latest version of Window-Eyes and Adobe 
Acrobat, PDFs are very accessible.

For example, here's Appendix F.6 of the Window-Eyes manual:


F.6: Adobe Acrobat

The commands for reading a PDF file and the commands for surfing a web page 
are virtually the same. There are, however, a couple of things that should 
be noted about Adobe Acrobat:

 By default, Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Acrobat Reader enable a setting 
called "Deliver data in pages when document exceeds X pages" (where X can 
be a custom defined number of pages). When this setting is enabled, and 
when the document loaded does not exceed the set number of pages, the PDF 
file will load one page at a time to decrease the amount of MSAA load time. 
When you open a PDF file, you will hear, "Loading Page, Single Page, Load 
Done." The single page notification is letting you know that only one page 
will be visible in MSAA mode at a time. To advance a page, press CTRL-PAGE 
DOWN. To go back a page, press CTRL-PAGE UP.

To change the number of pages required for a document to load in single 
page mode, do the following:

1. Press CTRL-K
2. Type A for Accessibility
3. Press TAB until you reach the edit box containing the number of pages 
(10 by default)
4. Enter the number of pages you want Acrobat to pay attention to for 
single page loading
5. TAB to OK and press ENTER

 If you prefer to load the entire PDF document in the MSAA buffer, rather 
than one page at a time, you may do so in the Adobe preferences dialog 
(accessible with CTRL-K). It should be noted, however, that loading an 
entire PDF document (especially one that is large) may take a very long 
time, depending on your machine specifications.

To enable a document to load in full document mode, do the following:

1. Press CTRL-K
2. Type A for Accessibility
3. Press TAB until you reach the "Deliver data in pages when document 
exceeds" check box
4. Press SPACE BAR to uncheck the check box
5. TAB to OK and press ENTER

 If you would like to hear the status of the MSAA buffer (either Single 
Page, or Full Document), you can press the speak summary hot key, 

Note that the page indication (Single Page, or Full Document) will still be 
spoken even when the MSAA progress announcement verbosity option is turned 
off. The reason is that the page announcement is not a part of progress of 
MSAA loading, but rather a notification of the current state of MSAA.

For information on the latest available version of Adobe Acrobat and the 
Adobe Acrobat Reader, visit:


At 12:22 PM 10/23/2002 -0400, RUST Randal wrote:

>Don't yell at me for asking this.  It's something that I really haven't paid
>much attention to in the past.
>Are PDFs completely inaccessible to all screen readers?  I'm assuming so,
>based on recent events
>Randal Rust
>Covansys, Inc.
>Columbus, OH

To insure that you receive proper support, please include all
past correspondence (where applicable), and any relevant
information pertinent to your situation when submitting a
problem report to the GW Micro Technical Support Team.

Aaron Smith
GW Micro
Phone: 260/489-3671
Fax: 260/489-2608
WWW: http://www.gwmicro.com
FTP: ftp://ftp.gwmicro.com
Technical Support & Web Development
Received on Wednesday, 23 October 2002 12:40:31 UTC

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