Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open de facto standard for
electronic document distribution worldwide. Adobe PDF is a universal
file format that preserves all of the fonts, formatting, colors,
and graphics of any source document, regardless of the application
and platform used to create it. Adobe PDF files are compact and
can be shared, viewed, navigated, and printed exactly as intended
by anyone, anywhere with the free Adobe Acrobat® Reader software.
You can convert any document to Adobe PDF, even scanned paper,
using Adobe Acrobat 4.0 software.
is in electronic form, it is not always easily accessible to persons
with low visual acuity or blindness, hearing impairment, motion
impairment, and other disabilities. Because Adobe PDF can represent
documents that are graphically rich or that may have complex layouts,
making the content in Adobe PDF files accessible to users with
visual disabilities can be challenging.
Systems Incorporated currently provides two solutions that help
make information in Adobe® PDF files accessible to the visually
disabled. These solutions convert Adobe PDF files into a format
that can be read by screen readers. Screen reader programs allow
the visually disabled to interact with their computer by interpreting
what is happening on the display and outputting that information
to speech synthesis or refreshable Braille output devices.
solution is a free, Web-based service at http://access.adobe.com.
Through access.adobe.com, any PDF document on the Internet can
be converted into HTML or text. Because the service converts PDF
files into formats that can be represented by ASCII text, access.adobe.com
works best on documents in English. Documents in European languages,
such as French or German, should convert fairly well with the
exception of symbols that cannot be represent by ASCII text, such
as umlauts. Languages requiring double-byte characters, such as
Japanese, Chinese, Arabic, Hebrew and Russian, are not supported.
Acrobat Access 4.0 for Microsoft Windows software is an alternative
solution for reading PDF files. This free, English-language plug-in
for Adobe Acrobat software provides accessibility through cooperation
with Windows screen reading programs. The Acrobat Access plug-in
converts PDF files on a user's local system into plain text, which
can then be read by screen reading programs.
access.adobe.com, the Acrobat Access plug-in extracts the text
of a document in approximate reading order and in a single column,
making it easier for screen readers to follow the flow of the
document. It can also preserve navigational elements, such as
hypertext links and bookmarks. Acrobat Access 4.0 is available
now and can be downloaded for free from the Adobe web site, http://access.adobe.com/tools.html
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