PDF/UA: Push for More Barrier-Free Documents
The W3C standard for generally accessible documents permits straightforward embedding of important structural information
Stop destroying information! WCAG-compliant content instead of pixel images
Universal accessibility in document processing: Unrestricted access to media by persons with mental and physical disabilities is regulated by law and already mandatory for many industries. The problem is that often the documents are missing vital structural information (such as reading direction, language, column sequence) that is needed for a correct rendering.
For documents to be truly barrier-free, they need to meet various criteria. Tagging is key:
- What text passages/blocks belong together?
- In what order and how much of the text should be read aloud?
- Non-text objects require alternative text.
- Text must follow Unicode format.
But there is yet another reason to get a handle on barrier-free documents. Increasing digitalization demands that output and document management break away from the A4 format and that content be prepared for all physical and electronic output channels. Documents originally intended for print only must be gradually enriched with as much data as possible for multi-channel output.
Today, so much structural information tends to get lost on the path to output.
- Digital documents are converted to analog form (print), at great cost and effort, only to be returned to electronic form.
- The content itself is initially encrypted (raster images) and then rendered "readable" through OCR.
- The semantic information important for downstream processing gets lost along the way.
Make your documents barrier-free!
The PDF/UA (universal accessibility) format greatly simplifies the creation of accessible documents. Conventional PDF tools are also capable of tagging, but are not terribly practical. Since PDF/UA became a certified ISO standard, easy-to-use software solutions to generate PDF/UA-compliant documents have emerged. Barrier-free documents, e.g., barrier-free PDFs, are better because they are more intelligent.
The embedded structural information permits:
- Reformatting (from A4 to smartphone display)
- Conversion to other formats (page-/text-oriented format)
- Extraction of individual data (incl. retrieval of invoice items)
- Building of tables of contents and index lists
Generate valid PDF/UA documents – automatically, reliably, and with little manual effort
With its DocBridge family of products, Compart gives you the ability to convert any type of document format to PDF/UA.
Using the PAC2 PDF/UA converter, documents are automatically checked for compliance with accessibility guidelines and validated accordingly.
Thanks to the modular design of the DocBridge family of products, the PDF/UA function can be easily integrated at any point in the workflow and for any type of document logistics.
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