The latest International Standard for PDF is almost here!
Today in Schaumburg, near Chicago, Illinois, Adobe’s Greg Pisocky, Appligent’s Duff Johnson and Microsoft’s Cherie Ekholm together offered a presentation describing ISO/DIS 14289, better known as PDF/UA (Universal Accessibility).
This page includes a very basic overview of the new Standard. Scroll down for the ATIA presentation.
The Purpose of PDF/UA
ISO/DIS 14289-1 (part one) is not an implementation guide, Best Practices document or a manual for end-users. It’s directed at software developers, and provides the following:
- Identifies elements in ISO 32000-1:2008 (the PDF specification) relevant to accessibility
- Specifies valid implementation of such elements in conforming files
- Specifies requirements for conforming PDF readers
- Specifies requirements for conforming Assistive Technology (AT)
In particular, this presentation is intended to introduce developers to PDF/UA. It covers:
- The History, Purpose, Value & Benefits of PDF/UA
- Key Terms
- ISO 14289-1 by Section
- Relationship to ISO 32000 (PDF), ISO 19005 (PDF/A) & WCAG 2.0
- Implementers Guide and Best Practices
- Beyond ISO 14289-1
File Format Requirements
ISO/DIS 14289-1 will make the following stipulations for conforming PDF files:
- All real content shall be tagged. Artifacts shall not be tagged
- Content shall be marked in the structure tree with semantically appropriate tags in a logical reading order
- All structure types in use shall be standard or mapped to standard
- Information shall not be conveyed by contrast, colour, format or layout, nor by combinations thereof, unless the content is tagged to reflect all intended meaning
- Dynamic XFA forms shall not be used
Conforming Reader Requirements
The vast majority of today’s PDF viewing software cannot support accessible PDF. PDF/UA sets a firm standard for software developers who wish to produce ISO 14289-1 conforming readers:
- Shall have the ability to process all structure types, attributes and key values in this specification
- Shall have the ability to process artifacts (content outside of the document’s logical structure)
- Shall make its user interface, if any, available to AT
- Shall make both the overall document language and language changes in the content available to AT devices
Conforming Assistive Technology (AT) Requirements
It’s not just about the PDF viewing software. AT technology takes many forms, and users deserve to know whether such software is able to handle accessible PDF files. Accordingly, PDF/UA sets the following requirements for conforming Assistive Technology:
- Shall have the ability to consume and present all structure types in this specification in the users preferred manner
- Shall provide a means of presenting PDF “Optional Content”
- Shall allow navigation by PageLabels (PDF page enumeration)
- Shall have the ability to navigate via the structure hierarchy (tags)
- Shall have the ability to navigate via outlines (bookmarks)
- Shall permit navigation zoom values to be overridden by the user
The presentation is available to all as a fully-tagged and accessible PDF file.
Appligent Document Solutions provides PDF tagging services for producing accessible, Section 508 compliant documents.
By Duff Johnson