[Athen] PDF Accessibility questions

Kathleen Cahill kcahill at MIT.EDU
Tue Jan 23 08:32:00 PST 2007

Dear Colleagues;

I am working with an MIT department that uses a lot of PDF files and am
trying to help them get the "cleanest" PDF files possible. I would love to
get some feedback from those of you who regularly use the Adobe Acrobat 7.0
accessibility checkers and do lots of tagging and alterations of document

I have some questions regarding files that originate in Microsoft Office or
Latex format (full of math notation):

1. Sometimes, after running the accessibility check, I get an error message
that "Acrobat was unable to make this document accessible because it could
not save page structure (incorrect structure was found in PDF file). Could
not save changes." Have you ever received a similar message and what did
you do?

2. After running an accessibility check, sometimes I get a message that
"there are x number of words with characters that do not map to Unicode."
Acrobat suggests the user use a different font, recreate the PDF with a
newer version of Distiller or use the latest Adobe Post Script driver to
create a Post Script file, then a new PDF file. Usually, this error message
come through on a document with lots of math notation. Any possible
solutions or suggestions on this?

3. I've also gotten error messages that say, "x number of elements were not
contained within the structure tree." Say what?

4. I've also run OCR on a PDF that looked like it was an image only PDF
with some math notation. When I have run an accessibility check on the
allegedly OCR'ed file, the report says there are no problems, which is
hardly the case when there is math notation.

If you have suggestions for me to try or know of any folks at Adobe I can
contact, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Thank you,

Kathy Cahill

Kathleen Cahill
MIT ATIC (Adaptive Technology) Lab
77 Mass. Ave. 7-143
Cambridge MA 02139

(617) 253-5111
email: kcahill at mit.edu

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