Portable Document Format (PDF)

This is Adobe's own response to dealing with PDF...

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 09:43:29 -0700 (PDT) From: T. V. Raman

To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org

Subject: Adobe And TRACE Launch Enhanced PDF Access Via Email

Adobe And TRACE Launch Enhanced PDF Access Via Email --New service enables conversion via email attachments (http://access.adobe.com)

Adobe Systems and the TRACE Research Center are happy to announce a new service to enhance the accessibility of PDF documents to visually impaired users.

Ever since we launched our popular server-based accessibility solutions on http://access.adobe.com in March 1997, the single most oft voiced request has been the need to convert PDF documents on a local disk or CDROM to ASCII or HTML. In response, we have set up a a conversion service hosted by the TRACE Research Center (http://trace.wisc.edu).

You can send PDF documents as email attachments to:

pdf2txt@sun.trace.wisc.edu -- for plain text

pdf2html@sun.trace.wisc.edu -- for HTML

and receive the result of the conversion in the reply.

Adobe would like to thank Dr. Gregg Vanderheiden and the TRACE Research Center for helping us host this service.

Attached is a summary of accessibility services provided by Adobe. Our WWW site (http://access.adobe.com) has been revised in conjunction with the launch of this new service; please take a momement to visit us and refresh your bookmarks.

--Raman (and the access.adobe.com team)


Welcome To Access At Adobe!


Please visit http://access.adobe.com

This page is your launching point for learning more about universal access to Adobe products. The primary focus at present is enhancing the accessibility of PDF.

Portable Document Format (PDF) is a platform-independent means of exchanging visually rich documents. PDF is fast becoming a pervasive means of communicating richly formatted information on electronic networks including the Internet and its most popular segment, the World Wide Web (WWW). PDF documents are rich in visual layout, and are popular among users capable of appreciating the high-fidelity visual presentation. However, visually impaired users have found PDF documents hard to access. Conventional screen reading technologies ---software that enables a visually impaired user listen to the contents of a computer display--- prove ineffective when reading the rich visual presentation.

In the last two years, Adobe has been working on a platform-independent solution aimed at enhancing the accessibility of PDF to visually impaired users on diverse computing platforms. This new strategy relies on standard WWW protocols and clients to bring PDF accessibility to the standard HTML browser that users already use for surfing the WWW. We have implemented a PDF2HTML translator that converts textual content from PDF documents to HTML. You can now use this conversion technology to more readily access PDF documents using your favorite WWW browser and screen access application. 1) You can submit a URL to any PDF file you wish to read using an interactive WWW form. The document will be converted to HTML and presented in your WWW browser.

2) You can mail a URL to a PDF document in the body of an email message to pdf2txt@adobe.com (for plain text) or to pdf2html@adobe.com and have the convertor mail back the result of translating the PDF file.

3) You can mail a URL to a PDF document or attach the PDF document itself as a MIME attachment in the body of an email message to pdf2txt@sun.trace.wisc.edu (for plain text) or to pdf2html@sun.trace.wisc.edu and have the convertor mail back the result of translating the PDF file.

For a detailed description of these accessibility services, read http://www.adobe.com/prodindex/acrobat/access.html

Note: All of these services are based on tools I developed for my own use at Adobe; I have been using these tools on a daily basis for over nine months now and find them indispensable for my work. I hope they are equally helpful to readers on this list.

--Raman (and the access.adobe.com team)


Best Regards,


Adobe Systems Tel: 1 (408) 536 3945 (W14-612)
Advanced Technology Group Fax: 1 (408) 537 4042
(W14 129) 345 Park Avenue Email: raman@adobe.com
San Jose , CA 95110 -2704 Email: raman@cs.cornell.edu
http://labrador.corp.adobe.com/~raman/ (Adobe Intranet)
http://cs.cornell.edu/home/raman/raman.html (Cornell)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed are my own and in no way should be taken as representative of my employer, Adobe Systems Inc.

CD Opening | WAI Presentation | W3C WAI guidelines | Web sites | CD sitemap | Credits

Copyright Liddy Nevile 19 March 2001. This material may be copied if source is acknowledged.