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Should PDF documents have headers and footers on every page?

From: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 14:50:08 -0400
Message-ID: <BLU436-SMTP158A232CCBBFDA9117AA6FEFEC40@phx.gbl>
To: WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
We have a technique for Creating PDF headers and footers, usually inserted
using the source program such as MS Word Headers and Footers. See PDF14.
http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20-TECHS/PDF14.html
This causes the screen reader to announce these Headers and footers at the
top and bottom of every page. Sometimes the interrupt reading halfway
through a sentence that continues on the following page. I can imagine this
is quite annoying for screen reader users tp have to listen through a
header and a footer between every page.

Visually we just skip over it... Usually most of the information found in
the header and footer is available on the home page of the document or some
other prominent place.

What is useful is page numbers. However, if the author syncs the page
numbering of the PDF with the document large numbers using PDF17, it makes
me wonder if we should advise the author to mark headers and footers as
artifacts instead...

An organization that teaches PDF, which is fairly well known, and has done
work for Adobe teaches to turn these headers and footers into artifacts so
they will be ignored by a screen reader.

I propose we place a note on PDF14 saying something like this:

 "If the page numbering has been synchronized as in PDF17 and other header
and footer information is available in a prominent place in the document
such as a heading or home page, then headers and footers are not necessary
and can be marked up as artifacts..."

Cheers,

David MacDonald



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Received on Monday, 18 May 2015 18:50:40 UTC

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