Learning Centers

Accessible PDF

Until recently, the focus in content accessibility has tended to focus on HTML and XML. As a result, content managers often turn a blind eye to the hundreds of thousands of PDF files sitting on their servers, downloaded every day... and 99% of them, hideously inaccessible, and utterly non-compliant with Section 508.

In this Learning Center, Planet PDF introduces the basic issues of accessible PDF, and what you can do about it. If you have questions, please post them on the new PDF Accessibility Conference in the Planet PDF Forum.

About the Author
 
Duff Johnson picture

Duff Johnson

Since 2011, Duff has worked in the ECM industry specializing in PDF technology since 1995. An industry leader, Duff co-chairs the international committee that manages ISO 32000, the specification for the PDF file format. Responsible for marketing and product...  More


 

An Introduction to Accessible PDF

By Duff Johnson

Accessibility is not an especially familiar concept in the computing world. Most of us encounter the idea of accessibility often enough by way of special vehicle parking spaces, ramps, braille signage, beeping crosswalks, and so on. Improving accessibility is more than a courtesy, it is an accepted and vital goal of any advanced society.

Accessible PDF: A Strategic Review

By Duff Johnson

In February, 2003, I argued on Planet PDF that accessibility is a big issue for Adobe Systems - and for the future of the PDF format. See that article, and a sidebar: Comparing Tagged PDF to Accessibility for the Masses for my suggestion. With the release of Reader and Acrobat 6.0 and the Read Aloud feature, Adobe took a major step towards my recommendation for adopting an Accessibility for the Masses perspective. If you have Reader 6.0 and speakers attached, open a PDF and try a Control-Shift-V. (You'll be glad to know that Control-Shift-E stops it!).

PDF files can comply with Section 508. Now it's your move.

By Duff Johnson

Problem: you host PDF files, and they are some of the most heavily downloaded files on your site. You need to make them compliant with Section 508. At the same time, you want them to deliver a good experience to the end-user, beyond formal compliance. Can it be done?

What does Section 508 mean for your PDFs?

By Duff Johnson

A paragraph-by-paragraph review of the code, and it's implications for your PDF files.

What is Tagged PDF?

By Duff Johnson

A quick introduction to the concept of logical structure in a PDF file, and why it matters.

Tags or Scripts for Accessible Forms?

By Duff Johnson

Forms pose special challenges for PDF files. Early in 2003, I asked Bryan Guignard for his view on this complex and thorny subject.

Resources on Adobe Acrobat and PDF Accessibility

By Duff Johnson

International standards and how-to guides.

PDF In-Depth Free Product Trials Ubiquitous PDF

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Two Passwords Are Better Than One: The Low-Down On PDF Security

For people who don't spend their time looking at PDF files in text editors*, PDF security is a sometimes misunderstood beast.

For example, those document restrictions that PDF files sometimes have -- no Printing, Content Copying, Page Extraction, etc -- are essentially useless unless the PDF also has a User Password.

January 09, 2014
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