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RE: Conforming to WCAG 2.0 SC 2.4.5 (Multiple Ways) for pdf files

From: Sean Murphy (seanmmur) <seanmmur@cisco.com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 23:43:31 +0000
To: Jonathan Avila <jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com>, Vlerken-Thonen, M. van (Michèlle) - Logius <michelle.van.vlerkenthonen@logius.nl>, "'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <29a819f5437442deacc343f11c337341@XCH-RCD-001.cisco.com>

What about EPUB, this is based upon HTML. Shouldn't it also have the same requirements as PDF?


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From: Jonathan Avila [mailto:jon.avila@ssbbartgroup.com]
Sent: Friday, 1 July 2016 9:26 AM
To: Vlerken-Thonen, M. van (Michèlle) - Logius <michelle.van.vlerkenthonen@logius.nl>; 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org' <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Subject: RE: Conforming to WCAG 2.0 SC 2.4.5 (Multiple Ways) for pdf files

> The criterion states: 'More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process.'

It's interesting you bring this up - because PDF files are considered web content - but other document formats are not.  For non-PDF formats the Guidance on Applying WCAG 2.0 to Non-Web Information and Communications Technologies (WCAG2ICT)<https://www.w3.org/TR/wcag2ict/#navigation-mechanisms-mult-loc> states:

2.4.5 Multiple Ways: More than one way is available to locate a non-web document<https://www.w3.org/TR/wcag2ict/#wcag2ict-def_document> within a set of non-web documents<https://www.w3.org/TR/wcag2ict/#wcag2ict-def_set-of-documents> except where the non-web document<https://www.w3.org/TR/wcag2ict/#wcag2ict-def_document> is the result of, or a step in, a process.

Thus, for non-PDF this provision only applies to documents in a set of documents and not pages within a document.  Perhaps that interpretation applies to PDF as well - but that's not clear.  And IMO allowing other documents to get away with not providing multiple ways of access is very unfortunate - but since I was not involved in the creation of that document I did not catch that until after the document was published.

I believe the general understanding based on technique PDF 2 is that a document is not in the same set as a set of web pages and thus the PDF doesn't need to contain links to the web pages that it is hosted with.  But that within a PDF the pages are within a set and therefore PDF documents would need to have bookmarks or table of contents to the internal pages.  Since most PDF readers also have functions to move between pages and automatically create bookmarks it seems like this could be met through the user agent without requiring the author to do this - but that is not clear.


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From: Vlerken-Thonen, M. van (Michèlle) - Logius [mailto:michelle.van.vlerkenthonen@logius.nl]
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:28 AM
To: 'w3c-wai-ig@w3.org'
Subject: Conforming to WCAG 2.0 SC 2.4.5 (Multiple Ways) for pdf files

Good afternoon,

I'm trying to find out what is necessary to conform to success criterion 2.4.5 for pdf files.

The criterion states: 'More than one way is available to locate a Web page within a set of Web pages except where the Web Page is the result of, or a step in, a process.'

When reading the definitions in WCAG I would think a pdf file is a web page, and not a set of web pages. However, one of the techniques for this success criterion is PDF2, creating bookmarks in pdf files. This leads me to believe that in WCAG 2.0 a pdf file is considered a set of web pages, and success criterion 2.4.5 applies. This means that to be sufficient the bookmarks would have to be combined with another of the mentioned techniques.

Does this mean that to pass this success criterion every pdf file needs to have bookmarks, plus an extra means of navigation  such as a table of contents, even if it only has one page?

Thanks for any help!


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Received on Thursday, 30 June 2016 23:44:04 UTC

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