Making Accessible PDF files
PDF files are very common but can be very hard to use. ClaroRead Pro and Plus give you ways to make them usable and accessible.
This is a guide to making accessible PDF files with ClaroRead. For an in-depth discussion of PDF accessibility, see the "PDF and Accessibility" document on our website.
This is suitable for individual users who want to make PDF files for their own use from scanning books or documents, or who have a PDF file that they need to read but is inaccessible (does not read at all or does not read very well). It works for ClaroRead Plus (versions 5.7 or later) or ClaroRead Pro.
- Scan using Plus or Pro.
- Click Save As and save as a "Claro PDF" file. This will automatically be made accessible by ClaroRead.
- Read back the PDF file by opening it with Adobe Reader and reading it with ClaroRead.
- Keep the PDF file for future reference - much quicker than scanning it again.
You can always re-scan the PDF file with ClaroRead Plus or Pro if you want to alter its accessibility or format or convert it into Microsoft Word to edit it.
The ClaroRead scanning process is optimised to produce an accessible PDF file, so even if you can read a PDF okay but you have some problems (like jumping around the page), it may work better if you scan it and save as a PDF file again.
This is suitable for someone who wants to create a canonical, high-quality accessible PDF file, maybe for redistribution or long-term storage. It works for ClaroRead Pro, although you can still correct the reading order in the Preview window with ClaroRead Plus.
Scan in from paper or file using ClaroRead Pro.
- Decide on your target audience. The basic split is "screenreader users and people with very low vision" versus "mouse users and people with reading problems" Or "blind" versus "dyslexic" to simplify. See PDF and Accessibility for a discussion on the differences.
- Decide how much work you want to do on the document content. Are you essentially making the existing file accessible (for a dyslexic user, for example) or are you doing more work to re-purpose the content more fundamentally (stripping out extraneous content for screenreader users, for example).
- ClaroRead Pro settings
ClaroRead Pro will attempt to determine the correct reading order in the document, and remove unwanted images.
Correct reading order in the Preview window.
- Delete superfluous content for "blind" users such as headers and footers.
- Remove page numbers and other non-reading content for "dyslexic" users.
ClaroRead now performs OCR, converting all inaccessible content into accessible text.
Correct text content in the Proofing window.
Output to your desired format.
- Correct spellings and incorrect OCR results.
- Add full stops at the end of titles and other lines without punctuation.
- If you need to make major changes to the document then Send it to Word. Word is a far better editing and word processing tool than ClaroRead. If you have Word 2010 you can then save the Word document as a PDF file directly. Make sure it is tagged (Save As, PDF, Options, check "Document structure tags for accessibility".) You can also add contents and headings in Word 2010. This may be suitable for "blind" users.
- If you're okay with the content as it stands (correct reading order, no spelling mistakes) then Save it as a File. Make sure it is at least PDF version 1.4. Do not optimize for size. Do not show background image layers.
- If you want the output to look exactly like the original then Save it as a Claro PDF. This is the only way to make sure the output looks exactly like the original scanned PDF or book, which is very helpful for "dyslexic" users.
- If you want the output to be able to be reflowed and zoomed and don't mind about it looking identical to the original then Save it as "PDF - Edited" or even text. This is useful for "blind" users.
For PDF output, accessibility information - tags - are added here.
Read back with ClaroRead (Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word, or use Save to Audio or Video) or distribute the accessible file to others. Keep the file safe so you don't have to go through the preparation process again.