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Remediating Documents if You Are Visually Impaired?

New Here ,
Jan 25, 2019

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Hi everyone,

I haven't seen this topic mentioned, but forgive me if I have overlooked something.  I am totally blind and use a screen reader; I am unable to use the mouse.  Often I am asked to review, make comments on, or even fix PDF issues in a file that have been provided to me, but for which I do not have the source file.  Keep in mind that I am using Acrobat DC Professional 2019.  I realize this is relatively simple for a visual user.  For example, to tag a particular section of the document one would usually use the reading order tool.  However, the reading order tool is really meant to show someone visually what is highlighted and how items are tagged.  It also seems to be extremely lacking in keyboard support I.E. no key commands to select text, images, tables etc.  If I am mistaken and there are key commands for the reading order tool to make selections, please correct me or point me to a list of commands I can use with this tool.  Anyway, I thought maybe using the content pane along with the tags pane would work better.  To a certain extent it does, but it certainly doesn't seem to be the optimal solution either.  For example, let's say I have a document with the words "Hello World" and I want to tag this as a heading level 1.  The content pane usually separates the text into random chunks and divides them into different nodes.  So, as I move down the tree structure in the content pane I might see the letters He, then llo, then wor, then ld.  Hopefully you get the idea.  That is all well and good, but let's say I select all of those nodes and then I choose the options menu, and then choose to create tag from selection.  Now if I move over to my tags pane, I can see that I have tagged it as a heading level 1, but I don't want the text to be broken into these chunks anymore.  I want to combine this into a single node under the h1 tag.  How do I go about doing this?  Further, what if I only want to select the W in word World, and not the letters Wor, as it is broken up?  In short, I just need a better method of highlighting text or other content so that I can then tag it.  I really don't care if it is the reading order tool, the content pane, or some other tool I have yet to see.  However, as I said, all of the methods for selection I have seen are primarily geared toward sighted users.  Am I missing something?  It seems a bit ironic that the tools to make a PDF accessible in Acrobat are, well, inaccessible themselves.  Again, any help is appreciated!

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Correct answer by Chad Chelius | Adobe Community Professional

You're not missing anything unfortunately. This is one of the huge limitations of Acrobat for blind users such as yourself. The easiest way to tag an existing PDF for a sighted user is using the Reading Order panel but unfortunately it's a completely visual process. I taught an accessibility class a little while ago to blind users and this part of the process was next to impossible. Using a source file such as Word was much much easier however in Acrobat, not so much. I wish I had a better answer for you.

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Remediating Documents if You Are Visually Impaired?

New Here ,
Jan 25, 2019

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Hi everyone,

I haven't seen this topic mentioned, but forgive me if I have overlooked something.  I am totally blind and use a screen reader; I am unable to use the mouse.  Often I am asked to review, make comments on, or even fix PDF issues in a file that have been provided to me, but for which I do not have the source file.  Keep in mind that I am using Acrobat DC Professional 2019.  I realize this is relatively simple for a visual user.  For example, to tag a particular section of the document one would usually use the reading order tool.  However, the reading order tool is really meant to show someone visually what is highlighted and how items are tagged.  It also seems to be extremely lacking in keyboard support I.E. no key commands to select text, images, tables etc.  If I am mistaken and there are key commands for the reading order tool to make selections, please correct me or point me to a list of commands I can use with this tool.  Anyway, I thought maybe using the content pane along with the tags pane would work better.  To a certain extent it does, but it certainly doesn't seem to be the optimal solution either.  For example, let's say I have a document with the words "Hello World" and I want to tag this as a heading level 1.  The content pane usually separates the text into random chunks and divides them into different nodes.  So, as I move down the tree structure in the content pane I might see the letters He, then llo, then wor, then ld.  Hopefully you get the idea.  That is all well and good, but let's say I select all of those nodes and then I choose the options menu, and then choose to create tag from selection.  Now if I move over to my tags pane, I can see that I have tagged it as a heading level 1, but I don't want the text to be broken into these chunks anymore.  I want to combine this into a single node under the h1 tag.  How do I go about doing this?  Further, what if I only want to select the W in word World, and not the letters Wor, as it is broken up?  In short, I just need a better method of highlighting text or other content so that I can then tag it.  I really don't care if it is the reading order tool, the content pane, or some other tool I have yet to see.  However, as I said, all of the methods for selection I have seen are primarily geared toward sighted users.  Am I missing something?  It seems a bit ironic that the tools to make a PDF accessible in Acrobat are, well, inaccessible themselves.  Again, any help is appreciated!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Chad Chelius | Adobe Community Professional

You're not missing anything unfortunately. This is one of the huge limitations of Acrobat for blind users such as yourself. The easiest way to tag an existing PDF for a sighted user is using the Reading Order panel but unfortunately it's a completely visual process. I taught an accessibility class a little while ago to blind users and this part of the process was next to impossible. Using a source file such as Word was much much easier however in Acrobat, not so much. I wish I had a better answer for you.

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Jan 25, 2019 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2019

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You're not missing anything unfortunately. This is one of the huge limitations of Acrobat for blind users such as yourself. The easiest way to tag an existing PDF for a sighted user is using the Reading Order panel but unfortunately it's a completely visual process. I taught an accessibility class a little while ago to blind users and this part of the process was next to impossible. Using a source file such as Word was much much easier however in Acrobat, not so much. I wish I had a better answer for you.

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Jan 25, 2019 1
New Here ,
Jan 25, 2019

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Hi Chad,

Thanks so much for the quick response. If this is in fact the case, this almost seems serious enough to be considered a bug. Does anyone from Adobe monitor this forum and could perhaps comment as to whether there are any workarounds for this problem? If not, what would be the correct procedure for reporting this to them?

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