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About the contributor
Shawna McAlearney

Shawna McAlearney is the Marketing Specialist for Appligent Document Solutions.
More contributions
Participating in the PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit’s objective is to establish a broad-based understanding of how PDF files should be tagged for accessibilty. It’s an opportunity to focus on establishing a common set of examples of accessible PDF content, and identify best-practice when tagging difficult cases.

Modernizing PDF Techniques for Accessibility

The PDF Techniques Accessibility Summit will identify best-practices in tagging various cases in PDF documents. Questions to be addressed will likely include: the legal ways to tag a nested list, the correct way to caption multiple images, the appropriate way to organize content within headings.

Refried PDF

My hospital emailed me a medical records release form as a PDF. They told me to print it, fill it, sign it, scan it and return it to the medical records department, in that order. In 2018? To get the form via email (i.e., electronically), yet be asked to print it? Did the last 20 years just… not mean anything! So I thought I’d be clever. I’d fill it first, THEN print it. Or better yet, never print it, but sign it anyhow, and return it along with a note making the case for improving their workflow. The story continues…

Slides and video recordings of PDF Days Europe 2018

You missed the PDF Days Europe 2018? Never mind! Here you can find the slides and video recordings of all 32 stunning sessions!

Using PDF/UA in accessibility checklists

PDF/UA, like PDF itself, is internally complex, but used correctly, actually makes things easier.

Advantages of PDF/A

Electronic documents have countless advantages over traditional archiving formats (e.g. paper or microfilm). Improved accessibility alone may substantiate the implementation of an electronic archive. Some advantages of a PDF/A archive over a TIFF or a paper-based archive are:

Full-Text Search

PDF/A stores objects (e.g. text, graphics), allowing for an efficient full-text search in an entire archive. TIFF is a raster format and must first be scanned with an OCR (optical character recognition) engine.

File Size

PDF/A files require only a fraction of the memory space of original or TIFF files, without loss of quality. The smaller file size is especially advantageous by electronic file transfers (FTP, e-mail attachment etc.)


PDF/A format can be optimized. The optimization can be focused on images (e.g. scanned checks) or extracting structured data (e.g. voucher information). TIFF treats all file information the same.


Metadata like title, author, creation date, modification date, subject, keywords, etc. can be stored in a PDF/A file. PDF/A files can be automatically classified based on the metadata, without requiring human intervention.

Tags: benefits, full-text search, optimization
Categories: PDF/A