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Re: PDFs and accessibility

From: The Snider's Web <lsnider@thesnidersweb.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 2003 12:56:08 -0400
Message-Id: <>
To: Matthew Smith <matt@kbc.net.au>, w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Hi Matthew,

Thanks for your email. I would love a Word doc right now (you can use 
Dreamweaver to clean up the HTML mess-which is handy :), I only have a 
PageMaker document which makes things a bit more complex-but not by much!

Thanks for the leads on the software like Tex, time to do more research.

Yes in this case I have the original doc (in PageMaker) and I now have a 
non-corrupted version of PageMaker so life is good!

Lots of ways to go, huh?

Thanks again


At 08:12 AM 1/17/2003 +1030, Matthew Smith wrote:

>Hi Lisa/All
>>I am thinking of putting up either a simple HTML page or a text file as 
>>an alternative to the PDF.
>Following a similar enquiry that I made not long ago, I have decided to go 
>the dual-format route.  For those who want good hard copy and for whom 
>accessibility isn't an issue, I prepare a PDF version; in addition to 
>this, I prepare an accessible, XHTML 1.0 compliant Web version.
>I still haven't finalised a solution to produce the two documents because, 
>in many cases where I am required to do this, the original document was 
>passed to me as Microsoft Word.
>I convert the Word to PDF by firstly changing to standard fonts (makes it 
>easier for my software), then printing it to file as PostScript and then 
>using the ps2pdf utility (part of GhostScript) to convert to PDF. The 
>XHTML is a simple cut-and-paste into a text editor, where I add all the 
>markup by hand.  I use Amaya to check the XHTML for errors.
>This is a bit of a long-winded process - one thought is to get the source 
>into Tex, which can convert to both PDF and HTML directly.  The only 
>problem is that very few of these older tools seem to generate decent markup.
>For your case, can you grab the source before it gets turned to PDF?  I 
>would imagine that it started off life as Word (or something) which then 
>gets "printed" to PDF.  Rather than try to make a second (PDF to HTML) 
>conversion on the same data, I would try to back-track and convert from 
>the original source.
>Converting to plain text from the original source would probably be the 
>easiest answer, but using a markup language ([X]HTML) would probably make 
>the document easier to understand if it is being read by a screen reader 
>or talking browser.
>Hope this helps.
>Matthew Smith
>IT Consultant - KBC, South Australia
Received on Sunday, 19 January 2003 12:11:06 UTC

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