This tip was sent to me by a GTT participant.
JAWS TIP OF THE WEEK
Many documents are distributed in PDF format. Unfortunately, not all PDF files are accessible to someone using JAWS. I’m going to talk about how to read PDF files and some techniques you can use if things aren’t reading correctly.
The application used to read PDF files is called Adobe Reader. The latest version of Adobe reader is version 11. On the desktop, it is labeled as “adobe Reader XI.”
If you are opening PDF files from links on web pages, there is a setting that should be changed in Internet Explorer to improve accessibility. This will ensure that the PDF opens in Adobe Reader and not inside Internet Explorer. You only need to do this procedure once.
To make this change, do the following:
1.Open Internet Explorer.
2.Press Alt+T to open the Tools menu.
3.Press the letter A or arrow down to Manage Add-ons and press Enter.
4.Press Alt+T to select the Toolbars and Extentions radio button.
5.Press Tab to move to the Filter By combo-box.
6.Press the letter A to select All Add-ons.
7.Press Tab to move to the list of add-ons.
8.Press the letter A to locate Adobe Reader. You should hear something like “Adobe PDF Reader, Adobe Systems, Incorporated, Enabled, 12/3/2014 1:31 AM, 184.108.40.206 9.If you hear the word “Enabled”, press Tab to locate the Disable button and press the Spacebar to activate it.
10.Press Alt+L to activate the Close button.
Reading pDF files:
For the best accessibility, a PDF file should be “tagged” for accessibility. When this has been done correctly, JAWS will know the correct reading order for the text. Also, you are able to navigate through a PDF file the same way you navigate through a web page. You will know if a PDF has been tagged if the document opens immediately without any dialog being displayed. Depending on the size of the document, JAWS may only let you read one page at a time. If you are moving through the document and JAWS stops reading after the first page, press Ctrl+Page Down to switch to the next page. You are able to use quick navigation commands to read through the document. These include H for heading and P for paragraph. Note that these commands only work with what is displayed using the virtual cursor. So, if you are only seeing one page at a time, pressing H will not move you to a heading on another page.
Dealing with untagged documents:
If you open a PDF file that is untagged, a dialog will pop up asking you how you want to deal with the document. You need to make a choice in this dialog before you can read the PDF file. T He first combo box asks you to select the reading order. Your choices are:
Infer reading order from document: Tries to automatically determine the correct reading order by analyzing the document (this is often the best choice).
Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Reads the text as it appears on the page, from left to right and top to bottom. This may not work well on multi-column pages.
Use raw print stream
Use the Infer Reading Order selection first. If that doesn’t work, try Left to Right, Top to Bottom.
Pressing Tab from the Reading Order combo box takes you to a Radio button that lets you set how much text is displayed at a time. You can set this to either Read visible pages only or entire document. How this is set by default will depend on the size of the document. Setting this radio button to read entire document will cause adobe reader to process the entire document before you can read it. If the document is very large, your system can become unresponsive for a period of time while the document is being processed.
Pressing Tab again takes you to a checkbox titled Always use the settings from the reading preferences (do not show this dialog again).” I recommended leaving this checkbox unchecked, since you may need to change the settings on a per-document basis.
Pressing Tab one more time takes you to a Start button. Press Enter on this button to start processing the document. You can also press Enter from anywhere in this dialog to start processing.
Once processing is done, you should be able to read the document. If this document isn’t reading correctly, try a different reading order. You can press Ctrl+Shift+5 to change the reading order.
If you try and readthe document and you hear “Alert: Empty Document,” this means that there is no text in the document. Some PDF files just contained scanned images of the pages. In this case, you will need to use an OCR solution to read the document. Examples of software that will read these types of PDF files are Openbook and Kurzweil 1000. JAWS 16 can also read these type of PDF files.