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The Path to Accessible PDFs Sandra Clark Senior Developer The Constella Group

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Presentation on theme: "The Path to Accessible PDFs Sandra Clark Senior Developer The Constella Group"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Path to Accessible PDFs Sandra Clark Senior Developer The Constella Group

2 2 Overview Why PDFs Definitions Creating a New PDF with Microsoft Word Converting an existing PDF to an Accessible Format Checking Accessibility Increasing Accessibility

3 3 Why PDFs Different Platforms = Same Look Content Control Retention –Documents cannot easily be altered –Printing and content extraction can be limited Print and Online, looks the same

4 4 Definitions Image Only PDF –Scanned image, no actual text –Not Accessible –Requires OCR before it can be made accessible. Searchable PDF –Text Content –Not Tagged –Not Accessible Tagged PDF –Contains a Document structure –Searchable and Accessible

5 5 Tagged PDF Tags provide structure and hierarchy to a document This structure can control the reading order Tags improve –Accessibility –Forms –Language Definition

6 6 Adobe Versions and Accessibility With each version Adobe has implemented greater ease in implementing accessibility Adobe 5 –First version to produce Tagged PDFs –Accessibility provided by a plugin Adobe 6 –First version to natively implement accessibility Adobe 7 –Added Touch Up Tool and other devices to aid in creating accessible PDFs. –Acrobat 7 Professional supports form development

7 7 Creating a New PDF - Programs AccessiblePDFs can be created most effectively with Microsoft Office 2000 and above. Adobes Desktop Publishing Software, Pagemaker and InDesign will also work well in creating Accessible PDFs

8 8 Creating a New PDF – Microsoft Word Acrobat installs plugins into Office Products To ensure a properly tagged document is created, the conversion settings of the PDF Maker must be set up. –The default settings should produce a tagged PDF document Conversion Settings Check –With the document open in MS Word Choose Adobe PDF from the menu bar and select Change Conversion Settings Make sure Enable accessibility and reflow with Tagged PDF is checked

9 9 Create your document Just as with HTML, your Word document should be properly structured with styles. –Follow a proper information hierarchy. Dont use tabs or spaces to visually present information. –Format the styles in MS Word to visually present your information. If you are going to create columns, use the columns creator under the format menu to do so, dont use tabs.

10 10 Save your document Choose Adobe PDF from the menu bar –Select Convert to Adobe PDF Name and save the file Open Adobe Acrobat to continue working with the tagged document.

11 11 PDFs with Images If images are used within a document created in the above manner, remember that all images must have alternative text that describes the image. –If a lengthy text description is required, consider inserting it into the document itself either preceding or following the image.

12 12 To create alternative text in MS Word 1.Select the image and perform a right-click operation 2.Select Format Picture 3.Under the Web Tag a.Enter a short description of the image. i.Be descriptive as to what the image is and (if necessary) its purpose 4.Click OK

13 13 Converting an existing PDF In order to create an accessible PDF, Acrobat needs to separate the content from the presentation. With items that are not created using the process described earlier, that conversion needs to be done within Acrobat. –Depending on the structure (or lack thereof) of the document, this can be a slow and tedious process. –Whenever possible, if a document was not created in an accessible manner, find the original and work it within MS Word and create the structure there prior to working with it as a PDF.

14 14 Converting Existing PDF Recommendations If an original document exists –Open the document in an MS Office application. –Format the document using the style elements as described earlier and add appropriate image descriptors. If the original document does not exist –Open the PDF document in Acrobat and work with it in there as described in the following slides If the original PDF is an image only document –Use an OCR program to transfer it to text –Bring it into an MS Office Application –Reformat the document using the style elements.

15 15 Adding Tags to a PDF Document - Benefits Adding Tags to a PDF document ensures greater user accessibility –It also allows for saving of PDF document to alternative formats such as HTML –Provides the ability to reflow text information to fit different screen dimensions

16 16 Adding Tags to a PDF Document - Limitations When Acrobat adds tags to a PDF Document there are no guarantees that the reading order will be correct. High complexity documents may not be tagged in a way that follows the logical reading order of the original –Visually Rich Layouts –Complex Data Tables Graphics and Charts may not be processed correctly and may be rendered as Figures –These items will need to be identified and have the appropriate alternative text descriptions added.

17 17 How to add Tags to a document Open the PDF document that does not contain tags. Select Advanced/Accessibility from the menu Choose Add Tags to Document Choose Save As and save the file with a new name after the processing Open the new PDF file and review the results.

18 18 Touch Up Reading Order Tool New for Acrobat 7 Allows the editor to evaluate the PDF reading order and make the necessary corrections Identifies the blocks of text, headings, figures, tables, etc that are contained in the document structure. –Identifying text can be added to an image using this tool. Dont use the Reading Order Tag to manually add all the tags for your document. –Use the Add Tags to Document function first and then reorganize the reading order flow with this tool as necessary.

19 19 The Touch Up Reading Tool Use the Touch Up Reading Order Tool to add, edit or remove content and reading order.

20 20 Adding Content Some content in the PDF may have been missed when adding tags. So the entire document must be gone through and missing information must be added to the tag structure. –Text content that is not part of the page structure will not be within a grayed box. To add content –When the touchup panel is open your cursor will show up as cross hairs. Use the cross hairs to draw a box around all the text information you want to work with. –Make sure all the text information is surrounded by blue squares. –Select the type of content from the reading order panel.

21 21 Removing Content Sometimes it is necessary to remove content from the document structure. –Items such as visual images that arent relevant to the content –Information that is misrecognized by the tags When the touch up panel is open –Draw a box, using the cross hairs to surround the information you want to remove. –Select the Background button from the panel. This removes the gray regions from the content and removes the content from the document structure

22 22 Reclassifying Content Some information in a page may be classified incorrectly –A Heading might be classified as text

23 23 To reclassify content in an entire region Click on the number in the upper left corner of the region you want to reclassify. Select the correct content type from the touch up panel The selected region is now changed to the requested content type.

24 24 To reclassify content in part of a region Draw a box around the content you want to change the classification using the cross hairs. Select the correct content type from the touch up panel. The regions will now split into two or more distinct regions

25 25 Controlling Reading Order Once tags are added, the reading order must be confirmed. –Reading order can vary depending on the layout complexity of the document. To verify the reading order you must first –Save the file as a Text (Accessible) type. –Open the text file and review it for the logical flow.

26 26 Controlling Reading order using the Touch up panel Identify the two regions which are not in the correct reading order. Move the cross hairs cursor to the number in the upper left corner of the region to be moved –The cursor will change to a hand Click and drag the number to the new location –Can be within another region. –You need to place the region precisely. The cursor will change to a caret to assist You may need to increase the zoon level to ensure the correct placement. Acrobat will automatically renumber to show the order the information will be read in. However, the regions will not move visually in the document itself. –You are changing the reading order of the document structure, not the visual content.

27 27 The Tags Tab The Tags tab allows the user to view the content structure and make changes. –Acrobat 5 and 6 only have the tags tab –In Acrobat 7, its recommended to use the touch up panel instead.

28 28 Controlling Reading Order with the Tags Tab Open the Tags Tab –Open a tagged document in Acrobat –Select View/Tags from the menu. To work with the Tags Tab –Select the appropriate item in the tags tab you want to change and click the right mouse button.

29 29 Tables and PDFs PDFs can handle tables that are created as tables in MS Word, provided the table is not very complex. Tags in markup are similar to those in HTML – is the first markup tag before any table content is described. – is used to associate rows. – is used within to represent header information – is used within to represent column information. Readers are not as good with associating cells with appropriate row and column information in PDFs as they are in HTML (with the scope and header attributes)

30 30 Forms and PDFs PDF Forms allow users to enter Content in the PDF and either print or save the document. Adobe Designer 7.0 does a good job of creating tagged PDF forms. If you do a lot of forms with Acrobat, this is the way to go. Only Acrobat Professional allows you to create forms, Standard does not.

31 31 Improving Form Accessibility Do not use keyboard characters (such as an underscore) to visually denote form fields. Make sure to enter supporting information in the Tool Tip text field for each form item. –This information can be used by Assistive technology to help prompt a disabled user to enter information. Radio Buttons and Checkboxes –Be sure to enter values for the item in the Export Value field under the Options tab. This information will be spoken when using a screen reader.

32 32 Checking Accessibility Steps to checking a document for accessibility –Run the Accessibility Checker and correct mistakes found –Save the file as a.txt (Accessible) and make sure all the content is there and in the correct reading order. Correct as necessary. –Use Acrobats built in reader or a screen browser such as IBM Home Page or a screen reader such as Jaws or Window-Eyes to verify the document.

33 33 Accessibility Checker Acrobat provides an accessibility checker to identify potential errors. –Use this as an adjunct to other testing, rather than depending solely on it. Opening the Accessibility Checker –Choose Advanced/Accessibility/Full Check … from the menu.

34 34 Accessibility Checker - Options Save an accessibility Report. –Its easier to have a separate copy and once you pass, a copy of a passed report is helpful to include with an accessibility audit. Always check with all options. Save a copy of the

35 35 Increasing Accessibility Consider saving your document not only as a PDF, but exporting it to other formats such as HTML to provide alternative methods of receiving your information. –You can do this using Save As from the File menu. –Be sure to open and review the file you have exported. The content you receive there will be dependant on the level of accessibility you have achieved with the original PDF document.

36 36 Resources Adobe Accessibility – Defining Acrobat PDF Accessibility – Planet PDF - Accessible PDF – D=1505&rhs

37 37 Resources PDF Techniques for Web Content Accessibility – 20010913/ Julian Rickards –Guide to Authors of Accessible PDF's –Guide to Editors of Accessible PDF's. rticles

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