Before diving into PDF accessibility and Section 508 compliance, we’d like to introduce you to a few basic facts. You’ll hear these again as you learn more about what it takes to make PDFs comply with Section 508, but if you want a FAST overview to get you started, this is it. Almost any PDF […]View Post
Kindle: Printed Page Fights Back
Some of us, those who have never read a paper book, may be forgiven for asking: “what’s a page number?” Apparently, the customers of Amazon’s Kindle software/service combination aren’t among them. The humble page is fighting back via the Kindle user; witness today’s announcement by Amazon that version 3.1 of their Kindle software will add “real […]View Post
PDF Readers – 5 Readers Compared
Time for a fresh look Last March we reviewed a crop of free PDF readers available for Windows. This time, we add a new contender to the list (Nitro’s PDF Reader) and check for updates to the software reviewed in our previous survey. Bloatware? Really? It’s a sad fact that the quality of PDF files […]View Post
REVIEW: PAC (PDF Accessibility Checker) 1.1
by Duff Johnson Over nine years ago, we were first in the world to offer tagging and Section 508 compliance services for PDF files. So you can imagine that we’ve been very, very interested in the subject of accessibility checker software for PDF files for a very long time. Until recently, Adobe Acrobat Professional’s Accessibility […]View Post
The iPhone Reads PDFs Out-Loud (Sort Of)
The New York Times’ David Pogue points out in his latest Personal Tech column that with iOS 4, the iPhone now includes text-to-speech conversion for iBooks and PDF files – a pretty stunning feature, when you think about it. In principle, to listen to an annual report or an product manual instead of reading it, users […]View Post
What Does ‘Add Tags’ Really Do?
“Tags” sounds like HTML, doesn’t it? What’s that got to do with PDF? PDF was invented to provide an electronic equivalent of paper. As such, it’s perfectly natural for PDF files to contain characters and images located at such-and-such coordinates on a page – and that’s it. No concept of paragraphs, sentences or even words. […]View Post
It “Sounded” Like a Good Idea at the Time
Recent versions of Adobe’s Acrobat and Reader software include a feature called “Read Out Loud” (ROL). A well-intentioned effort, ROL was (originally) meant to provide a snazzy new feature that would look good on sales calls, impress gullible executives, that sort of thing. It would just be super cool, it seemed, to be able to […]View Post
Developing Accessible PDF: An Introduction
PDF was originally designed to do one thing: deliver an author’s intent to screen or printer in an efficient, precise and platform-independent manner. This “print paradigm” persists today, and colors the issue of accessible PDF in subtle but pervasive ways. To understand how the print orientation in PDF presents a challenge to accessibility, begin with […]View Post
What Are “PDF Tags” and Why Should I Care?
What are “PDF tags” and why should I care? was published in February, 2006 on AcrobatUsers.com. Of especial interest to government website managers and others who’ve been hearing that they need to comply with Section 508, this article delivers a basic overview of what accessibility means in the world of PDF, and why that might […]View Post
What Is Tagged PDF?
PDF files can contain many things. At a minimum, a PDF contains the text, graphics, bookmarks, links and other elements of content that go to make up an electronic document. In addition to content, PDF files may also include “structure”. Structure is the term for a set of instructions that define the logic that binds […]View Post
Tags or Scripts for Accessible Forms?
Bryan is a solitary, but well-armed PDF developer, fighting (and winning) an uphill battle to make Canadian government forms PDF accessible to Canadian standards (WCAG priority 2), which are a lot tougher than the relatively simple (and vague) Section 508 regulations. Bryan basically feels that there’s not a lot about tags that promotes accessibility in […]View Post
Strategies for PDF Accessibility: Tagged PDF vs Accessibility for the Masses
Adobe’s Current Strategy (as described on access.adobe.com) Enhance the PDF format with MSAA-aware capabilities (tags) that document developers may use to improve accessibility. This approach is rooted in the belief that accessibility is operationally defined as the ability to interact with the user’s choice of screen reader software. Usability is not part of this definition. […]View Post