Riverdocs is currently focusing on providing an end-to-end document conversion service.
This information is provided to assist existing software users only.

Accessibility Issues in text

Fixing accessibility issues in text

The Converter’s Editing toolbar buttons and Properties tabbed pages provide effective tools for remedying most text issues, as well as for making other formatting edits. Basic text edits such as formatting text as a list can be carried out in the Editing toolbar. To emphasise text, the Converter uses the recommended <strong> and <em> tags.

Points to note

Clarity and readability

Accessibility issues in text can arise from the style or language used, which should be:

the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site's content
(WCAG 1.0 Guideline 14.1).

This Guideline takes account of the needs of the substantial group of people with reading difficulties or cognitive deficit. Departures from Guideline 14 can be detected in two ways - human assessment using editorial judgement, audience feedback or surveys, and statistical analysis of the complexity of the language, for example the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level score. The Converter does not assess clarity of language and or readability - however, it is easy to edit the text in the Converter’s output in order to improve the readability. For a statistical analysis of readability, you can evaluate your document before conversion using another application such as Microsoft Word, which supplies readability scores as an option in its spell-checking process.

Print versus web

Print documents are designed to be usable and attractive when printed on paper. The organisation, layout and use of colour in the document reflect this. However, in documents destined for electronic distribution and consumption these features can affect usability. Having to scroll down multiple pages and then move across multiple columns makes finding the text you want difficult for most users. It can make it impossible for users of assistive technology or mobile devices.

This is because the document is based on a "page description" - i.e., optimised for describing visual layout and appearance in print media, rather than being tailored for the sorts of digital, semantic transformation which are of most benefit to people with disabilities.

The Converter’s output follows web formatting conventions. This, and the requirements of WCAG Guidelines, may cause differences in layout between the converted version of your document and the original. For example, multiple columns in text are converted to single-column.


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