[Athen] tips for converting a photoshop doc to accessible pdf

Todd Schwanke tschwanke at wisc.edu
Tue Mar 31 06:51:50 PDT 2009


I'd suggest looking at modifying the initial approach rather than the final product.

Photoshop is focused on bitmaps/images, though at least form an editing side that finally seems to be changing significantly so that changes you make are much easier to undo or adjust.

However, if you are making a flyer, 'InDesign' from the Adobe suite of products would probably be a better choice as it is much more geared towards working with text and this type of project. If you have images in Photoshop documents you can insert those into the InDesign document. Transferring your work from Photoshop to InDesign shouldn't be hard. I think Illustrator would also be a better option than Photoshop, but not as good as InDesign.

The following document is a good reference for this type of project. As most things in technology, it needs to be updated, as the current suite is CS4. But, I think you will find much of it still relevant and useful, including adding ALT text, doing styles, the export process, and an interesting trick to get the correct reading order if also preparing a tri-fold to be viewed flat on-screen.

(Then search/look for "Creating an Accessible Tri-fold Brochure" or "InDesign"

We came up with this process because we were trying to move as easily as possible between the original file, print document, and PDF for the web. If we edited the original (even just a little) we didn't want to have to go through a whole long process or remaking an accessible PDF, AND we didn't want to have to maintain two separate originals.

The end result should be a document that you shouldn't have to post-process with OCR (so you shouldn't have to edit out errors) as this method allows you to transfer the original text and the structure. I'd still run a PDF accessibility check at the end though.


-----Original Message-----
From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of Howard Kramer
Sent: Monday, March 30, 2009 6:13 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network; Alternate Media
Subject: [Athen] tips for converting a photoshop doc to accessible pdf

Hello All:

When I save a flyer created in photoshop to pdf, it seems to produce an image only pdf. I've tried to save under a number of settings but without luck. The accessibility site at Adobe only mentions color blindness issues under Photoshop accessibility. Any help would be appreciated.


Howard Kramer
AHG Conference Coordinator
Access Specialist
fax: 492-5601

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