2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 28, 2012 6:07 AM by Joe_GDIT

    Automating table header and scope assignment?

    Joe_GDIT

      Is there any way to automate the process of assigning headers and scope in a table in a pdf document?

       

      We regularly produce large volumes of pdf documents for our clients, that include among other things tables.  We have recently been informed that our documents need to be Accessible (508 compliant).  Being able to produce these in an automated fashion is required due to our volume.  For example, our current project involves producing 4,300 4 page documents that include a total of  six tables each.  While the layout is uniform for these, the data in the tables is unique for each one.

       

      We produce the documents using SAS and are using adobe action scripts to automate the process of tagging the documents, adding properties and doing a full accessibility check.  We have also used commonlook to verify that we are meeting the additional accessibility requirements that the full accessibility check does not cover.  The one part that we have not been able to figure out is how to automate the tagging of header cells in the document as headers and set the scope. 

       

      SAS does not natively tag the PDF documents, which is why we tag them with an Acrobat action.  For an alternative approach, I have tried converting an html document with a properly formatted table (headers and scope assigned) from html to pdf to see if headers and scope could be assigned that way, but the header and scope assignment was lost in the conversion.

       

       

      If there is no way to automate this through Acrobat somehow, is there a PDF authoring tool that can produce PDF documents with properly tagged and scoped tables in an automated fashion from a data source?  Preferably one that can use a SAS dataset or Oracle for the source data.

        • 1. Re: Automating table header and scope assignment?
          CtDave Level 5

          If the authoring application does not properly identify row / column headers and also lacks tag management then you identify the header row(s) / column(s) manually or via a plug-in.

          Without this a PDF is not accessible - is not Section 508 compliant.

           

          See ISO 14289-1:2012 (PDF/UA-1)

           

          Also relevant:

          http://www.aiim.org/Research-and-Publications/standards/committees/PDFUA/WCAG20-Mapping

           

          Be well...

          • 2. Re: Automating table header and scope assignment?
            Joe_GDIT Level 1

            Thank you for replying.  I understand that header rows and columns need to be properly tagged and scoped to be accessible (508 compliant) which is why I am looking for a tool or plugin that I can set up to properly tag them in an automated fashion. 

             

             

            You mention using a plug-in.  Do you know of a plug-in that can be set up to properly tag the table headers and scope without manual intervention?

             

            If I tag the tables in these documents manually, it takes me about 10 minutes per document.  for 4,300 documents, at 40 hours per week, it will take about 4 1/2 months to tag all of them.  That is just one of many projects.  That is not an option.

             

            Can anyone suggest a PDF authoring tool that can produce properly tagged PDF's, including table headers and scope, in a productionalized fashion using SAS or Oracle or SQL Server or Access, or Excel as a data source?

             

            Or an Acrobat plug-in that can be set up to properly tag the table headers and scope without manual intervention?