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RE: Accessibility of Microsoft Word Documents

From: John Foliot - bytown internet <foliot@bytowninternet.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2003 12:09:12 -0500
To: "W3c-Wai-Ig" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>, "Nissen, Dan E" <Dan.Nissen@UNISYS.com>
Message-ID: <GKEFJJEKDDIMBHJOGLENIEJDDEAA.foliot@bytowninternet.com>


I think that perhaps the point is being missed here.  In terms of
collaboration, sure, use whatever tools you and your collaborators agree
upon, be it Word, Word Perfect or chalk and slate.

On the other hand, if you plan on posting one-way information (report, press
release, research paper, et al) then for accessibility's sake use HTML,
which is cross platform, non-proprietary and the basic foundation of the
World Wide Web.

Don't confuse the two issues, the comments made were directly in regards to
a "paper" which was only being provided as a word doc.  The author posted a
message encouraging list members to go and read said paper, and some users
went only to discover that it was, in fact, inaccessible.  Ironic...

As for controlling print, most of today's current crop of browsers do
support print CSS.  Or you could also provide both a HTML *and* print
version (perhaps in PDF, or word, word perfect, etc.).


> -----Original Message-----
> From: w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org [mailto:w3c-wai-ig-request@w3.org]On
> Behalf Of Nissen, Dan E
> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 9:09 AM
> To: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'
> Subject: RE: Accessibility of Microsoft Word Documents
> I see only a few advantages to using Word over HTML:
> 1. I can set "Track changes" and then update the document, and
> send it back
> to the author and he can easily merge my changes with his, and I'm not
> trying to verbalize where and what I'd like changed.  Is there a tool for
> this in HTML? How do you handle cooperative updates in the HTML world?
> Maybe I am ignorant here.
> 2. For many of us, Word is our primary word processor, and thus we like to
> write with it.  It produces less than accessible HTML when I ask
> it for the
> HTML.  I'll have to look into upcast to see if the HTML it produces can be
> more accessible. Of course, it is not free software.
> 3. Back to something most of the people who post to this list always
> dismiss, but is very important to many, that the printed form of
> the output
> is more controlled in the Word than in HTML.  PDF is even better at making
> that work.
> Regards,
> Dan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Lynn Alford [mailto:lynn.alford@jcu.edu.au]
> Sent: Monday, March 17, 2003 3:26 AM
> To: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'
> Subject: Re: Accessibility of Microsoft Word Documents
> Quoting Tina Marie Holmboe <tina@elfi.org>:
> >
> > On Mon, Mar 17, 2003 at 03:40:38PM +1200, Graham Oliver wrote:
> >   May I ask why you chose that particular format over one which is - or
> can
> >   be made to be - accessible, such as HTML ?
> >
> >   I must admit that I have little experience with it, but I
> can't say I've
> >   run across programs that make Microsoft Word accessible to the blind,
> but
> > I
> >   am certain they exist free of cost[1].
> Just as a note, I've found that a little utility called upcast (review at
> http://www.pibweb.com/software/upcast.html) can quite nicely transform a
> well
> written Word document into XHTML or XML.  The better the structure of the
> document, the better XHTML you will get.
> Lynn
Received on Monday, 17 March 2003 12:09:39 UTC

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