W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 1999

Re: Fw: Acrobat 4.0 And PDF Accessibility

From: Bruce Bailey <bbailey@clark.net>
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 13:04:57 -0400
Message-Id: <199906011714.NAA02915@smtp-gw.vma.verio.net>
To: "WAI IG" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Charles McCathieNevile" <charles@w3.org>
Can anyone speak from experience about the difficulty of converting a
poorly-structure PDF document to one that is mostly accessible?

For example, if a PDF file is basically a series of text images (from, say,
a magazine article), and a (sighted) laborer is available to do the
after-the-fact transcription, how hard is it to create a new "accessible"
PDF file?  What tools are needed?  Does the new version of Acrobat change
any of this?


> From: Charles McCathieNevile <charles@w3.org>
> To: Paul Stauffer 301-827-5694 FAX 301-443-6385 <STAUFFERP@cder.fda.gov>
> Cc: w3c-wai-ig-request <w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org>; IG
> Subject: Re: Fw: Acrobat 4.0 And PDF Accessibility
> Date: Tuesday, June 01, 1999 11:46 AM
> The major problem with PDF is that it is difficult to know by inspection
> whether it is accessible. PDF conversion can be done by taking text
> and putting it into PDF, which has some hooks to get it out again (for
> example by sending it to the pdf2html converter that Adobe have). 
> The other option is to convert text into an image, and include the image
> the PDF. (This is one of the ways MS Publisher does HTML pages too.) This
> causes a complete failure of accessibility, unless people run everything
> through OCR software, a (yet-to-be-developed) program to generate
> relationships from visual cues, and then reads it.
> Saving to bad HTML (which most word-processors can do) is better for
> accessibility, in part because PDF readers are not as widely available as
> HTML browsers.
> Just my 2c worth. I too am interested in the discussion.
> Charles McCN
Received on Tuesday, 1 June 1999 13:14:30 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.1 : Tuesday, 13 October 2015 16:21:04 UTC