[Athen] Update on PDF Remediation Tools

Karlen Communications info at karlencommunications.com
Thu Apr 11 12:23:42 PDT 2019

Currently, both PowerPDF and Foxit are one time purchases instead of subscription. They still run on an upgrade program rather than a monthly fee.

Since the Canadian government is not going to be using Adobe Acrobat as of May…I think this was posted on this list or WebAIM a few months ago…I decided to take a look at both products to see how they stacked up with Acrobat.

Cheers, Karen

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Dan Comden
Sent: Thursday, April 11, 2019 1:16 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Update on PDF Remediation Tools

Thanks Karen,

I haven't looked at the Nuance PDF product for years. Thank you for the update. It would be great if we could find an alternative to Acrobat Pro for PDF remediation. Last I checked, the pricing was not much different between the Nuance option and Acrobat, sadly.

I would be nervous about the Nuance product in terms of stability and accessibility over time based on my experience with how they release updates totheir speech recognition products. They have a tendency to make significant UI changes with little thought to accessibility as well as basic user experience. Their user support also doesn't have a good reputation. But if it offers any competition to Adobe, it would be a good starting point to consider, in my opinion.

-*- Dan

On Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 6:03 AM Karlen Communications <info at karlencommunications.com <mailto:info at karlencommunications.com> > wrote:

Hi Everyone:

As some of you know, I've been trying out Nuance PowerPDF Advanced and Foxit Phantom for Business.

I had two documents that are forms which means a lot of underline and boxes to visually represent where you enter information.

When I used the Acrobat Pro DC (current release/update) ability to auto tag the documents, about 85% of the lines, boxes and bits of the background were tagged as <figures> requiring Alt Text and only about 15% of the actual text was tagged. When I deleted the Tags, went to Nuance's PowerPDF and retagged the document, NONE of the background bits, lines or boxes were tagged. ONLY the text on the page was tagged. I had minimal remediation to make the text of the forms accessible (mostly rearranging the question order and separating parts of a question to fit the form controls in).

This saved me hours of work I was facing in making most of the things in the Tags Tree Artifacts manually and trying to manually Tag the text in the forms. Nuance PowerPDF does have a Forms Ribbon but I am on a deadline so will try it out once this project is finished.

Foxit is trying to get me to not give up on their product but I really can't face another 2-5 days of lost time trying to gain control of my computer, so we are still talking about getting my money back. Their position is that everything I’ve experienced should not be happening with their software.

BTW, for those of you who are either trying or buying Nuance PowerPDF Advanced, their help docs are out of date. They now have a button in the Tags Panel to the left of the Options button that will auto Tag a PDF document. I’ve added this to my notes for a tutorial…I spent about 15 minutes yesterday trying to remember where the button was. LOL

Cheers, Karen

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-*- Dan Comden danc at uw.edu <mailto:danc at washington.edu>

Access Technology Center www.uw.edu/itconnect/accessibility/atl/ <http://www.uw.edu/itconnect/accessibility/atl/>

University of Washington UW Information Technology

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