[Athen] Fw: Office365 - Online vs Desktop applications for accessibility

chagnon at pubcom.com chagnon at pubcom.com
Fri Apr 2 09:12:18 PDT 2021

I can give a bit of insight on this.

Although I don't use online versions of any software, I know that the online
365 Word will not have the Adobe PDF Maker plug-in, which is a highly
preferred method of making accessible PDFs from MS Office (better controls,
better more accurate conversion to the PDF/UA-1 standard).

So you'll make a PDF from online 365 Word by either of these methods:

1. Upload the Word document to Adobe's "Document Cloud" where it will
be converted to a PDF, or
2. Use Word's internal conversion utility, Save As / File Type PDF.
However, this utility has fewer controls and is manufactured by a 3rd
company for Microsoft.

I can't give more details due to NDAs with the companies involved, but I can
give you my opinion - neither method above would be my first choice for
making accessible PDFs from a word processing document.

Remember the old adage. you get what you pay for, and "free" doesn't buy you

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<mailto:Chagnon at PubCom.com> Chagnon at PubCom.com

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From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf
Of Hunziker, Dawn A - (hunziker)
Sent: Friday, April 2, 2021 11:34 AM
To: ATHEN <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Fw: Office365 - Online vs Desktop applications for

Thank goodness, it's Friday! I don't know what keystroke I hit but my
message was sent before I was done!

Here's the completed thoughts/questions:

Hi all,

We are working to change licensing for Office365 applications at the
University of Arizona. They would like to see most employees use the online
applications (free) rather than a desktop application (requires a license).

My Question: To have employees create accessible PDFs from their Office
documents, do they need to have the desktop version or will the online
application work? We have Adobe Pro licensing, so obviously the plugin
wouldn't be available in the online Office stuff.... would that make a

I know that anyone using a screen reader and possibly other assistive
technology will need a desktop application just simply because the online
versions are a bear to work with when using a screen reader - not
necessarily impossible but certainly not nice.

Thank you!


Dawn Hunziker

IT Accessibility Consultant, Sr. | Disability Resources

The University of Arizona | hunziker at arizona.edu
<mailto:hunziker at arizona.edu>

<http://drc.arizona.edu/> drc.arizona.edu |
<http://itaccessibility.arizona.edu/> itaccessibility.arizona.edu


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