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.

Quick approach

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.

  1. Scan using Plus or Pro.
  2. Click Save As and save as a "Claro PDF" file. This will automatically be made accessible by ClaroRead.
  3. Read back the PDF file by opening it with Adobe Reader and reading it with ClaroRead.
  4. 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.

Advanced approach

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. ClaroRead Pro settings
  4. Scan in from paper or file using ClaroRead Pro.
  5. ClaroRead Pro will attempt to determine the correct reading order in the document, and remove unwanted images.

  6. Correct reading order in the Preview window.
  7. ClaroRead now performs OCR, converting all inaccessible content into accessible text.

  8. Correct text content in the Proofing window.
  9. Output to your desired format.
  10. For PDF output, accessibility information - tags - are added here.

  11. 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.