[Athen] Touch Up Reading Order issue on Adobe Acrobat Pro

Wink Harner foreigntype at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 14:30:35 PST 2015

Hi all athenites -

I have a relatively inexpensive but very powerful program called PDF
Converter Pro from Nuance and I have taken all sorts of older versions of
both inaccessible PDF & pre-DOCX Word documents and converted them into form
fillable format. I understand that Adam's ultimate goal is to create a
document which has been re-tagged in the correct read order, so this
suggestion of mine is an intermediary step. With PDF Converter Pro, you can
take an electronic document in PDF format and convert it to a form fillable
PDF document. You can also import a form created in an older version of Word
into PDF Converter Pro, use it to create the form in PDF format & resave as
a PDF form. Then you can open it in Adobe Acrobat Pro and do any of the
reading order tags. I don't know that the PDF utility in Read and Write Gold
is robust enough to reorder the tags.

It's important to have a lot of tricks in your bag. This PDF converter
program is not expensive and well worth the investment. (I got it in my own
defense, not as a work production tool - so I could fill out forms on the
computer rather than by hand. However, it has turned out to be a very useful
tool in the biz)


Wink Harner

Adaptive Technology Consulting & Training

Alternative Text & Media Production

The Foreigntype

<mailto:foreigntype at gmail.com> foreigntype at gmail.com

<mailto:winkharner1113 at gmail.com> winkharner1113 at gmail.com

(Disclaimer: this email was dictated with Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Please
forgive any quirks, mis-recognitions, or omissions.)

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Gaeir Dietrich
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2015 1:23 PM
To: 'Access Technology Higher Education Network'
Subject: Re: [Athen] Touch Up Reading Order issue on Adobe Acrobat Pro

I have had real problems with creating PDF forms from old Word documents
(pre-DOCX versions of Word). In my experience, not even saving the old DOC
as a DOCX solves the problem. My standard recommendation now when doing
forms from Word is to recreate the document from scratch as a DOCX (if it
did not begin life as a DOCX) and then use the Make Accessible Wizard.

I have talked to a number of folks, though, who are just skipping Word
entirely and recreating forms from scratch in Adobe Pro itself using Adobe
FormsCentral. The folks who use that method swear by it.


Gaeir (rhymes with "fire") Dietrich
HTCTU Director


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Madeleine Rothberg
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 2015 11:45 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: Re: [Athen] Touch Up Reading Order issue on Adobe Acrobat Pro


It looks like the tool used to create and export the PDF is adding garbage
to the tag tree. Perhaps both the good text and the gibberish are in the tag
tree, and when you re-order them the good tags are getting moved. Have you
looked at the tag tree as well as the reading order?

Finding the original document and either making it accessible or figuring
out a better way to export it are probably your best options.



Madeleine Rothberg

Senior Subject Matter Expert

National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH


madeleine_rothberg at wgbh.org

From: Adam Kosakowski <kosakowskia at wcsu.edu>
Reply-To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
<athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2015 2:24 PM
To: "'athen-list at u.washington.edu'" <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Touch Up Reading Order issue on Adobe Acrobat Pro

Hello Listers!

I am working on making a student survey form accessible, but I am having
issues with assigning a logical reading order. When I first open the PDF
file, Read and Write's PDF Aloud can read it OK (just in a bad order), but
after I start reordering it, it begins to be read as jibberish! I attached a
screen shot pointing out what I mean. Just in case if the attachment doesn't
go through, something that used to be read as "Fall 2015 Student
Satisfaction Survey" is now being read as "FGHHIJKLMNOPQRSOING."

I have been unable to find any mention online of "PDF tagging changes read
text to jibberish" and in general I am not sure what to enter into Google
here! Any insight would be appreciated! In the mean time I am going to see
if I can get my hands on the original file, maybe it was not a PDF file
originally and I can make the original file accessible instead.


Adam Kosakowski, M.Ed.

Assistive Technology Specialist and Math Specialist, University Assistant

AccessAbility Services

Western Connecticut State University

181 White Street, Higgins Annex 017

Danbury, CT 06810

Telephone: 203-837-8225 TTY: 203-837-3235 FAX: 203-837-8848

Email: kosakowskia at wcsu.edu


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