What Makes An Accessible PDF Accessible? Part 3 of 3 with Alan Natachu

"What Makes an Accessible PDF Accessible?" with Alan Natachu is the third part of a series that explains how to create accessible PDF documents. In this final part, Natachu explains how to make a PDF accessible by using proper heading structure, alt text for images, appropriate color contrast, and other features that help users with disabilities to access and understand the content. He also emphasizes the importance of testing and validating accessibility to ensure that the PDF is truly accessible to all users.

Luis Malbas  
Hello, everybody, welcome to the training learning and development community. Thanks for joining us. Good afternoon to you. Good evening. Good morning, wherever you are. We're back with another session with Alan not to chew the final part of a series what makes an accessible PDF accessible. Thanks so much for making the time Alan, really appreciate it. The series has been great so far. I have a really interesting thing that I did just moments before you logged on. I use chat GPT. And I said summarize this, you know, part one of part three, I just plugged in this URL in chat GP three GPT three. And I said summarize that page. And this is what it gave me. said in this video out in the first session, Alan attitude discusses what makes a PDF accessible. He explains that an accessible PDF is one that can be read by screen readers and other assistive technologies used by people with disabilities. He also talks about the importance of using proper structure, adding alt text to images and providing clear and concise content, not to chew provides examples and demonstrations of how to create an accessible PDF using Adobe Acrobat. So everyone if you didn't check out that first session, that's the link for it there. And then the second session, which we did a few weeks ago, let me go ahead and paste that in. That one chat GPT gave me in this video, Alan not to chew discusses what makes a PDF accessible he highlights the importance of having a clear document structure using meaningful and descriptive titles, headings and alt text for images. He also emphasizes the importance of creating accessible tables and using proper color contrast for text and images, not to to provide tips on how to create an accessible PDF, including the use of built in accessibility features and software tools like Adobe Acrobat. Additionally, he encourages content creators to test their documents for accessibility, using tools such as screen readers and other accessibility checkers. Oh, kudos to you AI for coming up with those summaries. They're pretty good. I mean,

Alan Natachu  
yeah, I'm impressed. Yeah,

Luis Malbas  
I did that he did that. Did that. So that's pretty interesting. And I got those results in a span of like 20 seconds. So that's, it's pretty amazing. Nice. Yeah. So part one, and part three are now posted in the chat, everyone. If you missed those, you can go back to them there. And with that, in Ireland not to choose here, let me give you I forget you were a learning technology partner. That's what it is your title, partner with exact sciences, and longtime friend and collaborator with the training, learning and development community, everyone Welcome, Alan. And I'm gonna go ahead and hide myself from the screen. All right.

Alan Natachu  
Hello, everyone, I am still having some computer issues, but they're not as bad as they were. Last time that I tried to do this. So, um, the last time I said I was going to provide a Windows tool and show a Windows workflow. But unfortunately, I can't get that to happen. My I run a Mac. And I use boot camp also use parallels and fusion and none of them want to play crate right now. So we're going to do things just a little bit differently today a little bit different than what I was planning to do. And I wanted to kind of restart this because what I started out with was a little bit on the complex side, I did go into how things are structured and how to rework a PDF, but I want to show you a couple of tips that will allow you to just kind of breeze through it and make a an accessible PDF. And right now we are working towards progress and not perfection. So if you watch the first two videos, or have you been to the first two videos, and you're just kind of like what I'm gonna show you a way that will kind of ease you into this and then build upon. You could use those first two videos to build upon this technique that I'm going to show you are basically going to blow things up. And I'm getting my stuff loaded up. In the meantime, go ahead and talk amongst yourselves. Who remembers coffee talk on SNL? I do it's one of my favorite skits. All right, so go ahead and share my screen Coffee Talk Go and sharing my screen. All right, so can I get an audio confirmation that you could see this?

Cuz I'm working with one screen here

that way, sorry, there

Luis Malbas  
it goes. I can you hear me there? Yes, I can. Yeah, we can see it, we can see it. Sorry, it takes for me to get back on in this new version of Crowdcast. But looks good.

Alan Natachu  
Thank you very much. So we've been working with this document that I created. This is a free VR building platform. If you want something that's free, easy to use, you could use this great quick VR walkthroughs interactions point and click based. And I really liked that because it's so easy to do. But let's say you create something in PowerPoint, let's say you receive a document from someone. Let's say someone created an Apple Pages, they bring it over to give you the PDF. Well, how can we make that accessible? How can we make it so that we can build a better product with what they've given us? Because if you are a PC user, you can't use Pages unless you use the pages online service. You can't use PowerPoint on a Mac if all you have his keynote while you can, but things get kind of wonky in the conversion. So there we go. First thing I'm going to do open up my Accessibility tab. And then I am going to go to the accessibility check. This will tell me everything that's wrong with this. Everything that's right. Oh, yay, only two things wrong. That's not the case, because I made this really wrong. So the first thing I'm going to do, I'm a second thing I'm gonna do, I'm gonna go into the reading order. And I'm gonna scroll down a little bit

now, it's what's give me a lot more than just these figures, shapes, it's supposed to show me the text is supposed to show me a lot more things here. And if you receive a document like this, or you received a document where there's tons of blocks, but they don't make sense, this is what you do to get it right, I'm going to show you two options. I wanted to open up the reading order so that you could see how it looks when something's missing right now, it's not recognizing any of the text. So with my reading, order window open, I'm gonna select this button to clear page structure. This will clear one page at a time you see figure the USCIS website, I'm gonna go ahead and select Clear page structure. And they'll ask me, Are you sure. And now the USCIS website or screenshot that has been moved away? moved away. So why would you want to do that? Well, then you could take your cursor and select the items that you want. And turn them into headings, turn them into text. Go through and quickly and easily remark the stuff that you need. And if you do this in order, going from top to bottom. If you do it in order, you can set your reading order that way. That's a figure we'll come back and add alternate texts that later. This is also some text. Let me go ahead and select that. Oh, okay. I know why it's stuff wasn't popping up. Show page content groups was not selected. It's a Monday y'all. All right. But you can see here there's a lot of stuff that shouldn't be highlighted. And again, I'm gonna select while I'm on this page, I want to make sure that I'm on this page. I want to make sure that I am on page two, which I am It says it right here. Otherwise, if you do it too early or not on the right page, you'll just blow up that page and have to do more work. Select page structure again. Asked me Do I want to delete it? Yes, I am going to go through and text so on and so forth. Now a lot of people think that creating PDFs is accessible PDFs is hard, it can be hard. But there are ways to make it a little simpler, such as the clear page structure.

I am going to stop here for a moment than me, I like this last one, and I'm going to stop, mark that as a figure. And I'm going to go back to the top. Now if I check my reading order 12345. That's a logical reading order, I could see that I need alt text here, which I can add by right clicking let's select that, then I should right click on the number four. And she asked me if I want to edit alternate text. A shot fee is website. And if this was decorative, I could say don't add alt text. But this is something that conveys information. So I want to make sure it's there. I click OK. And I'll Texas updated here. This technique is good if you have a document that's you know, a few pages long, 10, maybe even 20, you can go through and clean it up very nicely. But what happens if I receive a 50 page or 100 page document? First of all, I hope that's not the case. The loan document takes a while to edit. Second of all, if you do come across, if you do find yourself in that situation. We're gonna close out the reading order. I'm gonna let Adobe figure this out for us. I'm gonna select with my Accessibility tab open, I'm gonna select Auto tag document. This documents already tagged would you like to read tagged the document? Yes. Now it's asking you because it notices that it has pictures that may have alt tags it recognizes it has headings and text. So I'm going to say yes, and see what happens with the audio tag will open up my reading order again. Look, it did a pretty decent job. I see it a reading order 1234. I'm going to change what I look what I see I'm going to change here in the reading order pane. Show page content groups. I'm going to change that to structure types. He stands for paragraph we have figure paragraph paragraph. That's right, it did a pretty good job marking things. It even marked the let me turn this off for a moment. The bullets which are very hard to which can be very hard to correct. Not impossible, just a little hard. But it looked like it created that just fine. Now, the reason why I say we should I should have started out with this is because it's very simple to blow it up. And essentially that's what we did. The technique that we're using is to blow this up. either erase a page and start from scratch, or let Adobe take care of it. And then we go through and gonna clean it up a bit. Since everything's already high, highlighted, everything's already marked. I'm gonna change the markings on this. Like I know this is a Heading One. It's a title but I would use a heading one here, I would select it by selecting the P icon here. Select heading one. Same for right here. Heading One. Hey, that's good. That's good. That's good. For something like this, I'm going to do a little cleanup. Turn that to heading one. But with something like this where you have a paragraph of text but Adobe marked it as two different lines. I like to combine that into one so I'm gonna carefully highlight this and as the lead text paragraph

Heading to go down to here. So like heading two, not going to worry about alt text just yet, I like to do that towards the end. But you could see how easy it made making the document accessible just by using auto tech document. And that is heading two. I'm going to stop sharing for a moment.

And that's a really quick way of getting your document assessable. And I feel like I should have started with that video one. But there are some things that I wanted to make sure that you understood why it worked. And if you go back and watch it, you got a better understanding of how things work. Using these really quick and easy tools will allow you to do your work quicker. Now, before I continue on with one more step, one more thing. I would want to know if you have any questions in the chat or Yeah. Give it a moment see if people have any thing they want to add. Can you do the same on Canva? Yes, and please remind me, I know you can export images. Can you export PDFs?

Okay, we can export both with Canva. Alright. You Yes, you can. If you export it as a PDF, you should be able to highlight the text and mark that as text. If for some reason you can't Adobe Acrobat has OCR, Optical Character Recognition, where you can run it, run your document through that, and it should pick up on the text inside of it. That is really good. If for some reason you downloaded a PNG versus PDF, you can convert that image png into a PDF and then you could run the OCR, which will take out the text and then you can do the the accessibility to that. I don't use camera much I should. Oh, wait one more moment before we continue on. And if you have any questions, go ahead and put them in the chat lines for them. And a little bit. Go ahead and share my screen again.

Now if I go here, I'm going to do accessibility check. Again, it's going to give me some errors about alt text is telling me which ones don't have any fingers to them. And that's okay, we can add that later. But I want to show you a couple of things before we move on. Sometimes when you create documents, the text runs from one page to another. And such as this, the links here should actually be with this page. When a screen reader comes and starts reading it, it will stop here and say page two or continue to the next page and start again, it will there will be this break, very noticeable break. And there's a way that we can stop that break from happening. Now we're gonna get into a couple of harder troubleshooting techniques. And this one happens a lot. Um, I'm going to go into my tags. I'm going to highlight this I can highlight any part of here but I want to highlight that and go up here to this little button. This Options button and it should say fine tag from selection. I could go through this entire list here and try to figure out where this is located. But if I go to the Options button, find tag from selection will take me right where it needs to go. Now there's three paragraphs. I'm gonna turn on the reading order and we can see that paragraph one, paragraph two, and paragraph three. I select, if I open this up, says the text here, I open this up, it says the text here. And if I open this up, it says the text here, we combined these into one, click and drag and put it into the top one, click and drag and put this into the top one. So now they're still separate. But a screen reader will read this without that break without that pause. And when you got a document that's few dozen, a few 100 pages, those ones were going to be text heavy, and the sentence will continue on to the next thing. This is something that you would do, you wouldn't use this to continue page after page after page, you'll use this when there is a block of text or a section that needs to stay together. When you're reading sometimes a book you'll see a sentence that stops at the bottom of the page, but can you take us to the top as sighted people we can recognize that if we put that through a screen reader, there will be that break. It will say page two and then continue onward kind of breaks the the reading process. And by doing this it helps lessen the cognitive load, it makes things a little better for people who rely on screen reader technology. Go ahead and delete these tags because I am done with that

select l body options and then select oh what let me find tag. So let me go ahead and close this out. Because I need to highlight this like this won't let me do it with the reading order tools, I need to highlight the text up here buying tag from selection

now with this a quick review. L stands for lists. One stands for list item, which is this entire thing. And that is broken into two parts, we got the label which is the number which is the period which is the dash and then we got the body this is the proper format for list and if we did this

convert it to text we would need to recreate this using that L one or L L I label and body and that's that's not cool. I mean, it's cool that we can recognize it we can do it but it's add some more work for us. And by using the auto tagging document we were able to really bypass that I was hoping undo would work that's interesting. Okay, I'll take care of that leader. And here's another part where we have the section going on to the next one we got this little section here. I'm going to highlight this go up here options and then find tag from selection. I'm gonna move this to here

and I'm gonna delete the tag here there's different ways of setting up a an Acrobat PDF. You may see these things called sections and just like different sections in a Word document, this is how it lays it out in the in the tags. Why select section one recognizes the section starts at heading one and stops here after the last paragraph by select section here highlights everything here and ends with a with that last paragraph and within each section there is little sections like we have Ah one. And under here section, it's gonna highlight, download your photos and a text underneath it. A little extra cool as because this is a Heading Two, these are texts that should be heading two. So there we go. And one more. There we go

ahead and stop sharing Oh, teach blind students and I hate to hear all the extra info in the document. And it's not just skip into the next page into paragraph. All right, we got a real use case here. Simply digital simplistically, the digital. Hi, thank you for dropping that in the chat. And, oh, this was a really quick and dirty way to create an assessable. PDF. And if you watch the first two videos in this series, you'll get to see why things are in place with this one. Now that we have an idea of how things work, we can go and really go through and create really quick, accessible document. And remember, we are looking for progress, not perfection. And as we learn and start doing this more, we'll get better at recognizing the things that will trigger reading order issues will trigger altex issues, and whatnot.

What about that Wink? Oh, thank you. How do we fix that? So in the video, there's this smiley face wink. I would drop in an emoji instead. Because the screen reader will read an emoji. Thank you for catching that. That was that's how I would correct that. If we left that Wink there, it will be semicolon whenever the symbol is the curve symbol.

But if you include emojis, you want to make sure that you only use one at a time. Otherwise, it will keep going Thank you open parenthesis is edited day here for me and I'm just kinda but yeah, with emojis, you want to use only one at a time you may see in social media post that has fire happy face fire happy face. Well, a screen reader is going to read that verbatim fire. Happy Face fire, happy face. The same thing would happen here if you use multiple emojis. And with that, I'm happy to answer more questions.

Luis Malbas  
Let's see here. Not seeing Oh, here we go. Are there any other tips to improve flow for screen readers in the documents, fewer headings, maybe

Alan Natachu  
simple documents to keep your documents not necessarily fewer headaches, because that's how screen readers can navigate from one place to another as a table of contents. But if you create simple documents, and you use the different styles to mark headings, or spacings, if you use tables, make sure that they are simple. You got a complex table, see if you can turn it into a series of tables versus one big table with multiple headings and multiple rows. But yeah, the simpler you can make that document the better. And if you do things like two column three column in the thing, make sure that you're using the correct tools to make that happen. And don't insert a text block in a text block in a text block. You would need to use the columns tool to do that correctly. So it's using your tools correctly and try not to cheat. I do like the textboxes but that is not really assessable Oh question, font style and sizes. For fonts. Digital Sans Serif fonts such as Helvetica Arial No, Microsoft has some lotto from Google Fonts, those type of fonts. And what makes a font sans serif is, if you look at printed text a has a little tail at the end, goes like that and has a wiggly tail. And if you look at the F, it has tail at the top, there may be tails in the middle and tails at the feet at the bottom. Sans Serif gets rid of that. So it's just one stroke, F, one a without that extra stuff. And if you're working with someone who is dyslexic, or needs, has a hard time following text, you might use Open Sans, Open Sans, he had to learn to love it. Because as a designer, I don't like it. But as someone who works in accessibility, I love the fact that it's a real, cheap, fast, simple way of making a document accessible for those who are dyslexic because all the letters are different. And there's a couple of other dyslexic fonts. Once paid once free. And for digital, font size. They 16 are better. If you're using a reading one, size 12 or better.

Luis Malbas  
What was the size 16? Or better one again? Sorry?

Alan Natachu  
We're digital, like I'm sorry, a PowerPoint presentations stuff showing on the screen. This where I'm at the text up 16.

Luis Malbas  
Right. Right. Right. Excellent. All right. Let's see if any other questions come in. This is great stuff. Thank you so much, Alan. You know, I'm wondering, do you have any time in July? Do you think you can be part of the next AI DC event? I'd be happy to. Yeah, yeah. All right, because we're collecting speakers already. So this is perfect. You've already contributed like these three sessions, to, to help the community out. Thank you so much. And so yeah, I'll keep you posted. I'll let Kaylee know we're kind of working on building that one out. So that, you know, dates and stuff in July. All right. All right. Well, with that, I'm gonna go ahead and wrap it up. Thanks for, you know, extending your day out to help us here. As simplistically Digital's asking about, we'd love to hear more about using Canva. And Google Docs,

Alan Natachu  
Google Docs headings. Make sure your styles are correct. Everything that you would do in a Word document you could do in a Google Doc, Canvas, a totally different beast.

Luis Malbas  
Yeah, there's so much to talk about, I'm sure with all of that stuff. Okay, well, that's it. Hopefully this thing recorded. I don't know. Last session, I did this last Friday, it didn't end up recording. Crowdcast is giving me a free month because we had that problem. So hopefully, this one records because, you know, we need to have this to share with everybody. But with that, Alan, I'm going to go ahead and just close the broadcast. Thank you so much. Thanks, everyone for for joining us. And don't forget this week learning by doing a games and gamification event for instructional designers starts on Wednesday. It's ended up being a little bigger than originally planned. I think we have like 12 sessions instead of the 10 that we were going to do are the nine I think instead of the nine now we have 12. So it's gonna be a busy Wednesday through Friday. That's going to be a lot of fun. Cindy has helped with that one tremendously. So

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