[Athen] Requesting Assistance with PDF Document

Patrick Burke burke at ucla.edu
Wed Feb 6 10:01:56 PST 2013

Wow, thanks everybody for the detailed feedback. Fascinating stuff!

Much appreciated,

At 02:32 AM 2/6/2013, Karlen Communications wrote:

>There are some of the "standard" bullets in the Word bullet gallery that are

>non-unicode elements or appear as such in a PDF document even though they

>can be identified by screen readers in the Word document. Two examples are

>the chevrons and the check marks. Picture bullets used to be an issue but

>with Word 2010 or 2013 and Acrobat XI they no longer appear to be. Chevrons

>and check marks can still be problematic.


>Cheers, Karen


>-----Original Message-----

>From: athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu

>[mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Sean J


>Sent: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 6:18 PM

>To: Access Technology Higher Education Network

>Subject: Re: [Athen] Requesting Assistance with PDF Document


>Hi Patrick,


>I have seen this occur in some PDF documents that originally started as MS

>Word documents. For some reason, the bullets from the automatic numbering

>are interpreted as "nmlkj" in the text layer of the PDF document. In nearly

>all cases, I was dealing with an untagged PDF document (as far as I can



>Karen has the best recommendation of marking those symbols as Artifacts in

>the PDF document. The other option would be to start from MS Word again and

>export out a tagged PDF version. That *should* remedy the problem.


>What I used to do is make the conversion from PDF to MS Word and then do a

>search/replace to remove the "nmlkj" and replace that with an asterisk.


>Take care,



>On 2/5/13 2:42 PM, Patrick Burke wrote:

> > Helloooo ATHENians!

> >

> > I hate admitting defeat, but we have one rather large PDF file that is

> > posing some baffling issues. If anyone would be willing to help

> > analyze, I would much appreciate it. (I'll buy beers at CSUN, if

> > you'll be

> > there!...) Please get in touch off list: burke at ucla.edu

> >

> > The text is a 98-page e-book on a project to include PWDs in local &

> > national volunteer activities, if that sparks anyone's interest. One

> > of the problems I'm encountering is bullet symbols that get converted

> > as "nmlkj", which is disturbing for screen reader users, to say the least.

> > Apparently this is a unicode encoding issue, but I have no idea what

> > to do about it.

> >

> > Thanks much for any help,

> >

> > Patrick

> >

Patrick J. Burke

UCLA Disabilities &
Computing Program

Phone: 310 206-6004
E-mail: burke at ucla.edu
Location: 4909 Math Science

Department Contact: dcp at oit.ucla.edu

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