[Athen] Open Office and Tagged PDFs (was Microsoft Word versus Open Office)

Sean Keegan skeegan at htctu.net
Wed Sep 12 12:46:42 PDT 2007

Terry asked the question:
"Does OpenOffice's PDF export feature support "tagged PDF", and is the
result a well-structured, reasonably accessible PDF document?"

I have run a few basic tests on some test documents that I have. These are
fairly simple files (you can find a sample at http://www.htctu.net/demos/),
but I was really looking at how Open Office handles the tagging process.

For inline images and headings:
- Open Office correctly tags both text descriptions for the images and the
heading levels

For data tables:
- Open Office allows you to specify a header in a data table (by row) that
in turn identifies the <TH> tag correctly in the PDF. Similar to MS Word,
you can only specify headers by row.

For multi-column layouts:
- Open Office correctly tags a multi-column layout such that the logical
reading order is retained.

So, preliminary tests indicate that Open Office Writer 2.2.1 is creating
appropriately tagged PDF files. I will have to run some more tests, but so
far it looks good for basic/generic documents.

Take care,

Sean Keegan
Web Accessibility Instructor
High Tech Center Training Unit of the California Community Colleges

More information about the athen-list mailing list