[Athen] Structured accessible HTML from PDF

Nusen, Michael Michael.Nusen at ppcc.edu
Tue Apr 10 17:03:59 PDT 2007

We downloaded the demo & only looked at it a little bit & it's difficult
to eval the OCR capability of the demo because of all the "x"s that are
put in by the demo version.
We were not happy with the order it chose for columns of text: i.e. it
would place the text from the columns into inline text but out of order
- might require quite a bit of editing.

For making PDF to HTML docs for non-visually impaired students we have
been mostly happy with testing we've been doing using ABBYY FineReader
8.0 Pro to convert the docs & then using the Opera browser with it's
downloadable voice component to do the text-to-speech. The trickiest
part has been going back into docs to rezone text imbedded in graphics
that didn't get OCR'd/extracted - the rezoned text sometimes has a
tendency to unzone itself back to a graphic - though this is a problem
we've had in OmniPage Pro 14 & 15 Pro as well...


-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On
Behalf Of Sean Keegan
Sent: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 5:05 PM
To: 'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Structured accessible HTML from PDF

> The RiverDocs converter will take any PDF document and analyse it to


> multi-column pages, headings, tables, images and other formatting and


> it all into XHTML. Correctly recognising text that wraps around a

> picture,

> or the cells in a table requires sophisticated artificial intelligence


Has anyone actually used the RiverDocs Converter and what have you
thought of it?

The press release and the information on their website a bit lacking as
to exactly how they really are different from the other tools that
currently exists (you can edit a PDF for accessibility in Acrobat and
export from PDF to HTML). I found their price estimate of creating
accessible PDF versions with other tools in excess of 50 pounds per page
somewhat high.

The website URL is: http://www.riverdocs.com

I am planning to get my hands on a demo copy, I just have not had a
chance to look into the tool much.


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