[Athen] the best 3 questions ever asked about mathml/PDFs and mathml/PDF/UA

steve.noble at louisville.edu steve.noble at louisville.edu
Thu Apr 14 06:13:15 PDT 2016

We have been detailing this sort of information in the Math Support Finder Beta as part of the MathML Cloud project headed up by Benetech. Reading a PDF file containing equations properly encoded with MathML is indeed possible using NVDA plus MathPlayer 4. You can find details about the testing which was done to verify this, and also download a test PDF with MathML, at this link: http://msf.mathmlcloud.org/setups/20

The Math Support Finder Beta home page is at http://msf.mathmlcloud.org/ This allows you to search for what is available for any given platform or file type. We still have a lot more testing to do, but I suspect all (or almost all) of the technologies which actually work are already populated. There are many, many, more instances of lack of math support, and many of those such instances have not been formally tested.

The big hurdle, however, is getting the MathML into a PDF in the first place, since none of the automated tools to produce PDF support this capability, and thus someone has to hand-code every single math expression.

Hope that helps!

--Steve Noble
steve.noble at louisville.edu

From: athen-list [athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] on behalf of KRISTA L. GREEAR [greeark at uw.edu]
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 6:25 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network; Alternate Media
Subject: [Athen] the best 3 questions ever asked about mathml/PDFs and mathml/PDF/UA

Well, they probably aren’t the best 3 questions ever asked but I wanted to be dramatic.

1. Has anyone been able to create a PDF/UA with MathML document? http://www.aiim.org/Research-and-Publications/standards/committees/PDFUA/Technical-Implementation-Guide<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.aiim.org_Research-2Dand-2DPublications_standards_committees_PDFUA_Technical-2DImplementation-2DGuide&d=AwMFAg&c=SgMrq23dbjbGX6e0ZsSHgEZX6A4IAf1SO3AJ2bNrHlk&r=4WMck1ZVLo4tV0IVllcBNKXCSGU6lUERtx_4HD4DqmE&m=4xovdafKzG83r-DPIDs7bf1PCco8v362AZ24ZuKPA68&s=EAnoIFr30A8pKBbOZxH28Dtlgh9dt4AD1Yuit009UOc&e=> (7.7 Math heading)

a. If so, would you be willing to share a copy? I wanted to test something but I haven’t figure out how to create this yet.

2. How do folks create PDF/UA if they don’t use Adobe Acrobat software?

3. I found the following text at https://www.dessci.com/en/products/mathplayer/tech/accessibility.htm<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.dessci.com_en_products_mathplayer_tech_accessibility.htm&d=AwMFAg&c=SgMrq23dbjbGX6e0ZsSHgEZX6A4IAf1SO3AJ2bNrHlk&r=4WMck1ZVLo4tV0IVllcBNKXCSGU6lUERtx_4HD4DqmE&m=4xovdafKzG83r-DPIDs7bf1PCco8v362AZ24ZuKPA68&s=SyR0Cn58O0x53Rjscg53nsjneLKf-TuhCaE7rnOVvSE&e=>: “MathPlayer 4 speaks and brailles math with NV Access' NonVisual Desktop (NVDA) in Internet Explorer, Firefox, Microsoft Word & PowerPoint, and it enables math speech in PDF with Adobe Reader.” Has anyone ever had math in a PDF read aloud? Using any combo of technology? I am so curious.

I working with partners at my institution to great best practices for making math accessible in docs and web (hopefully). The plan is to post on the UW Accessibility page. I’m happy to share with the listserv the compilation of information I am getting during this quest/journey/odyssey.


Krista Greear
Accessible Text & Technology Manager
UW Disability Resources for Students
greeark at uw.edu<mailto:greeark at uw.edu> | disability.uw.edu/<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__disability.uw.edu_-2522-2520-255Ct-2520-2522-5Fblank&d=AwMFAg&c=SgMrq23dbjbGX6e0ZsSHgEZX6A4IAf1SO3AJ2bNrHlk&r=4WMck1ZVLo4tV0IVllcBNKXCSGU6lUERtx_4HD4DqmE&m=4xovdafKzG83r-DPIDs7bf1PCco8v362AZ24ZuKPA68&s=XdlilauIghOqxRcnoOxZ4DQjopfkbXfVxSc3K68zbhU&e=>

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