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NewFormat AB

NewFormat make PDF information permanently
accessible, searchable, readable and reusable
for the future and for as many people as possible.

We create accessible PDF in compliance with the ISO Standard PDF/UA.


Our solutions are based on
recognized ISO Standards based on PDF technology
and tested, reliable, and highly accessible software solutions from
the PDF Association vendor community.





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Accessible PDF




PDF/UA - Icon

Recommended Software Tools to
Tag, Create, Validate and Remediate/Correct PDF files for
Compliance with the ISO Standard 14289, PDF/UA,
for Universally Accessible PDF




  • PDF Association: List of vendor tools supporting accessible PDF, PDF/UA


  • Note! Adobe software tools are not included in the list above
    due to these do not validate fully against PDF/UA, the globally recognized
    ISO Standard for accessible PDF documents and accessible PDF forms.

    Although Adobe Systems is a very important and prominent member of
    the PDF Association and a strong proponent of standards based on
    PDF technology, among them PDF/UA.

    But, Adobe has not yet announced that their software tools
    (such as Adobe Indesign, Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Acrobat Reader, ...)
    natively can create/generate/remediate/validate/export PDF files
    that are fully compliant with PDF/UA.

    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools has the ability to verify/confirm PDF/UA
    conformance based on the Matterhorn Protocol's set of checks.

    At present, Adobe's software tools are not sufficiently "PDF/UA-Ready";
    one should therefore not solely trust them.


    Example:
    The "Full Check" feature in the Adobe Acrobat Pro Accessibility Checker is
    used to check how well a PDF file is compliant with the ISO Standard PDF/UA.

    Simple practical tests, however, show that this accessibility checker
    often approves PDF files that do not fully comply with PDF/UA.

    Unfortunately, PDF files having obvious PDF/UA-related technical errors are approved!
    With the consequence that these inaccessible PDFs are published as,
    and incorrectly claimed to be, "accessible PDFs" on many websites!


    It requires complementary, more specialized and more efficient "PDF/UA-Ready" tools.
    Either in the form of separate standalone programs or as plugins to
    Adobe InDesign, Adobe Acrobat, ...

    Surprisingly often, such complementary software tools
    are often faster and easier to use at a higher quality.


    An individual user can probably manually manage to create up to 100 PDF/UA files,
    but in case of need to create many hundreds or thousands, or even more documents,
    we highly recommend the use of software tools that do support large-scale
    production and automated processes.

    However, to correctly create accessible PDF more is required
    than just "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools.
    It is also required that the user understands and can apply requirements
    for checkpoints and tags according to the PDF/UA standard.

    Does the necessary work effort feel overwhelming? Then we recommend:


    For full information on software tools, provided by NewFormat AB,
    that do support accessible PDF (PDF/UA), download of free trials,
    tutorials, recorded demonstrations, etc.,
    click on the preferred tools/links below.




    Tools for Tag Creation

    Software tools with the ability to create tagged PDF documents with semantically
    appropriate structure elements from a source file or existing untagged PDF.


    Tagging of PDF documents for compliance with PDF/UA-1.
    Recommended guides on to how to correctly tag
    PDF documents according to PDF/UA-1:


    Software tools for TAGGING of PDF files / Tagged PDF:


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools for TAGGING of PDF files / Tagged PDF:

    • axaio MadeToTag for Adobe InDesign

    • Plugin to Adobe InDesign. For Windows and macOS.
      Creates tags according to the PDF/UA Standard.
      Significantly speeds up the tagging work in Adobe InDesign!


    • axesWord for MS Word

    • Plugin to MS Word for Windows.
      Creates tags according to the PDF/UA Standard.
      Facilitates the tagging process based on templates.


    • CommonLook Office for MS Word and MS PowerPoint

    • Plugin to MS Office for Windows.
      Creates tags according to the PDF/UA Standard.
      Facilitates the tagging process.


    • CommonLook Dynamic

    • For Windows.
      Creates tags according to the PDF/UA Standard.
      Automatically tags and generates accessible PDF from
      print streams and live data/databases.





    Tools for PDF/UA Creation

    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools with the ability to create PDF documents
    conforming to PDF/UA (ISO 14289-1:2014).


    In principle, universally accessible PDF documents can either be
    generated directly during document creation, using a suitable program,
    or indirectly generated by adapting an existing PDF document.

    The indirect approach tends to require a great deal of work,
    as all tags and numerous other settings will need to be provided manually.
    This work can also become void as soon as a new version of the PDF document
    replaces the old one, if any changes to the document’s content need to be made.
    The adaptation process must then be started again from scratch.

    The direct approach is almost always the better option;
    post-creation PDF edits should be avoided or at least kept to a minimum.
    Either way, it is essential that the document creation program can perform
    the functions required and that the document creator can make use of them.


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools for CREATING accessible PDF according to ISO PDF/UA:

    • axaio MadeToTag for Adobe InDesign

    • Plugin to Adobe InDesign. For Windows and macOS.
      No need for revision / post-processing in Adobe Acrobat!
      Creates PDF files compliant with ISO PDF/UA and PDF/A-2a.


    • axesWord for MS Word

    • Plugin to MS Word for Windows.
      Creates PDF files compliant with ISO PDF/UA and PDF/A-2a.


    • CommonLook Office for MS Word and MS PowerPoint

    • Plugin to MS Office for Windows.
      Creates PDF files compliant with
      ISO PDF/UA, WCAG 2.0, U.S. Section 508 and/or U.S. HHS.


    • CommonLook PDF

    • Plugin to Adobe Acrobat for Windows.
      Creates PDF files compliant with
      ISO PDF/UA, WCAG 2.0/2.1, U.S. Section 508 and/or U.S. HHS.


    • CommonLook Dynamic

    • For Windows.
      Automatically tags and generates accessible PDF from
      print streams and live data/databases.
      Creates PDF files compliant with
      ISO PDF/UA, WCAG 2.0/2.1, U.S. 508 and/or U.S. HHS.





    Tools for PDF/UA Remediation/Correction

    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools with the ability to remediate/correct
    the logical structure tree of a tagged PDF file.


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools for REMEDIATING/CORRECTING inaccessible PDF
    to be in compliance with ISO PDF/UA, thus being accessible PDF:

    • axesPDF

    • Extended/professional version of PAC 3 for Windows.
      Corrects any existing PDF for compliance with ISO PDF/UA.


    • callas pdfaPilot

    • For Windows and macOS.
      callas pdfaPilot can resolve some common problems related to PDF/UA files;
      "Resolve structural problems with tagged PDF documents".


    • callas pdfToolbox

    • For Windows and macOS.
      callas pdfToolbox can resolve some common problems related to PDF/UA files;
      "Resolve structural problems with tagged PDF documents".


    • CommonLook PDF

    • Extended/professional version of CommonLook PDF Validator.
      Plugin to Adobe Acrobat for Windows.
      Corrects for compliance with
      ISO PDF/UA, WCAG 2.0/2.1, U.S. Section 508 and/or U.S. HHS.





    Tools for PDF/UA Validation

    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools with the ability to verify/confirm PDF/UA
    conformance based on the Matterhorn Protocol's set of checks.


    A PDF document’s degree of accessibility is hard to determine at first glance.
    How, then, can you tell if and to what extent a PDF file meets
    the requirements of PDF/UA?

    A reliable compliance test always depends on at least two stages of validation:

    1. a programmatic syntactic test, which can be performed by a piece of software, and

    2. an interactive semantic test, manually carried out by a human.

    Dedicated validation/test tools will help the user perform the programmatic test.
    They test and show the extent to which the PDF document meets the standard’s
    purely technical requirements (including requirements for tag-based document
    structuring of document title, headings, paragraphs, columns, tables,
    alternative text for images, etc...) and uses the correct syntax to implement them.

    For programmatic PDF/UA compliance validation of a PDF document,
    we recommend to validate the document with more than one test tool.


    The semantic aspects of PDF/UA, however, cannot be tested in the same way:

    • Is the reading order logical?

    • Does the alternative text adequately represent the same information
      as the images to which it is attached?

    • Do the header tags reflect their corresponding header levels?

    These and other questions can only be answered after
    evaluation and testing by a human user;
    PDF/UA always requires human interaction.


    One further test (which should be run on at least a random sample of
    all documents created) is to use the PDF document with a selection of
    current types of assistive technology.

    Regular users of the technology can be enlisted to test
    the documents in this way; in most cases, however,
    anyone can in principle perform a useful test with assistive
    technology to confirm the readability of the PDF document.

    One very simple option here is to use the free
    Windows screen reader program NVDA.
    A user can quickly get to grips with the core functions of
    the software in order to test how well people with disabilities can
    actually use an existing (ideally fully PDF/UA-compliant) document.


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools for VALIDATING
    accessible PDF according to ISO PDF/UA:

    • PDF Accessibility Checker (PAC 3)

    • No cost. For Windows.
      First fast way to validate a PDF file for compliance with ISO PDF/UA.


    • axesPDF

    • Extended/professional version of PAC 3 for Windows.
      Validates any existing PDF for compliance with ISO PDF/UA.


    • callas pdfaPilot

    • For Windows and macOS.
      The feature for validation of PDF/UA compliance
      can be used without cost without cost.


    • callas pdfToolbox

    • For Windows and macOS.
      The feature for validation of PDF/UA compliance
      can be used without cost without cost.


    • CommonLook PDF Validator

    • No cost plugin to Adobe Acrobat for Windows.
      First fast way to validate a PDF file for compliance with
      ISO PDF/UA, WCAG 2.0/2.1, U.S. Section 508 and/or U.S. HHS.


    • CommonLook PDF

    • Extended/professional version of CommonLook PDF Validator.
      Plugin to Adobe Acrobat for Windows.
      Validates for compliance with
      ISO PDF/UA, WCAG 2.0/2.1, U.S. Section 508 and/or U.S. HHS.


    • CommonLook Clarity

    • For Windows.
      Continually monitors websites, internal networks,
      files systems and folders, and maps the status of accessible PDF.
      Generates reports showing compliance with valid accessibility standards,
      such as ISO PDF/UA, W3C/WCAG 2.0 AA, WCAG 2.1 AA,
      U.S. Section 508 and U.S. HHS.


    • Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA)

    • For Windows and macOS.
      No cost Colour Contrast Analyser (CCA) from Paciello Group.


    • veraPDF

    • Open source project.
      Validates for compliance with ISO PDF/UA (Machine Check).





    Tools for Viewing/Reading of PDF/UA

    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools with the ability of product that includes
    an end-user-oriented interactive PDF (or PDF-alternative) viewer that
    uses tagged PDF to make PDF/UA files available to Assistive Technology.


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools for VIEWING the tagging structure in PDF files,
    and assistive technologies such as PDF reading tools and screen reading tools:




    Software for mapping of existing business documents
    for compliance with accessibility standards

    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools with the ability to continuously and automatically monitor
    and map/report existing enterprise-wide document resources and their accessibility status.


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools for automatic mapping of accessibility status
    for large volumes (bulks) of existing PDF files:

    • CommonLook Clarity

    • For Windows.
      Continually monitors websites, internal networks, files systems and folders.
      Automatically maps and validates all PDF documents with respect to
      compliance with applicable accessibility standards.

      Generates reports showing compliance with accessibility standards
      such as ISO PDF/UA, W3C/WCAG 2.0 AA, WCAG 2.1 AA,
      U.S. Section 508 and U.S. HHS.




    Tools for businesses in need of automated
    large-scale production of PDF/UA files

    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools with the ability to continuously and automatically
    produce large volumes of accessible PDF documents from live data/databases.


    "PDF/UA-Ready" software tools for automatic production of PDF/UA compliant
    documents in large volumes from live data/databases.

    • CommonLook Dynamic

    • For Windows.
      Automatically tags and generates accessible PDF from
      print streams and live data/databases.
      Creates PDF files compliant with accessibility standards
      such as ISO PDF/UA, WCAG 2.0/2.1, U.S. 508 and/or U.S. HHS.




PDF/UA - Icon

Recommended Reading on PDF/UA
The ISO Standard for Accessible PDF Documents and Forms

PDF/UA in a Nutshell - Front Cover - Picture     PDF/UA Flyer Front Cover - Picture

(For download of these guides, click on the pictures above)



Lifebuoy - Picture

    Do you need help to create accessible PDF in compliance with PDF/UA?

    Accessible PDF (PDF/UA) ensures accessibility to digital public service for everyone.

    We help customers to create any volume of accessible PDF documents,
    out of native MS Office (Word and PowerPoint) and Adobe InDesign documents,
    and PDF documents generated by other tools.


    Interesting?




More Information and Resources

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For more information contact NewFormat


NewFormat AB

Smörblommegränd 14, SE-165 72 Hässelby (Stockholm), Sweden
tel:+46 (0)70 631 53 01

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are property of their respective owners.



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