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RE: Should PDF documents have headers and footers on every page?

From: Andrew Kirkpatrick <akirkpat@adobe.com>
Date: Mon, 18 May 2015 19:26:38 +0000
To: David MacDonald <david100@sympatico.ca>, WCAG <w3c-wai-gl@w3.org>
Message-ID: <BY1PR02MB1115CC2C14D37DA50B038627C7C40@BY1PR02MB1115.namprd02.prod.outlook.com>
I’m sure that we can debate the right thing to do with header and footer information and still not come to full agreement.  But I agree that repeating “© 2015 MyCorp Industries” or even just the “page 1 of 8” sequence can get tedious for a blind user.

PDF/UA speaks to this:
7.8 Page Headers and footers
Running headers and footers shall be identified as Pagination artifacts and shall be classified as either Header or Footer subtypes as per ISO 32000-1:2008,, Table 330.

I agree that we need to do something with the PDF14 technique.


From: David MacDonald [mailto:david100@sympatico.ca]
Sent: Monday, May 18, 2015 2:50 PM
Subject: Should PDF documents have headers and footers on every page?

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.

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..."


David MacDonald

CanAdapt Solutions Inc.

Tel:  613.235.4902



  Adapting the web to all users
            Including those with disabilities

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Received on Monday, 18 May 2015 19:27:09 UTC

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