PDF Layout Question

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zkline zkline's picture
PDF Layout Question

Hi All,

As I dive back into EP, I'm trying to get as much as I can out of the PDFs, since they seem to be the official electronic format. I'm left a little confused by some of the layout choices.

My screen reader reads, say, Transhuman relatively well, though there seem to be links along the left side of some pages, which lack meaningful labels. There are places where the text breaks oddly. Running the PDF through a text conversion process produces jumbled output at best, and long snatches of numbers at worst. I gather the latter are some kind of page border.

I'm aware of various rules wikis and other distillations of the EP content, but was just wondering what if anything might be done to make the PDFs themselves a bit less annoying from an accessibility perspective. I'm guessing this might be more for the designers, but wondering if anybody else would be able to chime in.

As a final note, I adore the ePub and Mobi versions of EP and Sunward, and wish more in those formats were available.

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.

SquireNed SquireNed's picture
I think there are multiple

I think there are multiple layers, some of which could be disabled. Not sure how that interacts with the screen reader, if at all.

AdamJury AdamJury's picture
zkline wrote:My screen reader

zkline wrote:
My screen reader reads, say, Transhuman relatively well, though there seem to be links along the left side of some pages, which lack meaningful labels. There are places where the text breaks oddly. Running the PDF through a text conversion process produces jumbled output at best, and long snatches of numbers at worst. I gather the latter are some kind of page border.

The links are on the left-hand side of each left-hand page -- the chapter names link to the start of each chapter. The way those are created means they render as live text, which screen readers will pick up on.

The numbers are indeed part of the page border, and I am pretty sure those can be fixed, but not without going through and re-building each PDF from the main InDesign files. I'm afraid we don't have the resources to do that right now. However, can I PM you a quick-and-dirty test file, zkline?

I will absolutely keep a few of those lessons learned in mind as I finish developing the Eclipse Phase, Second Edition template.

zkline zkline's picture
SUre thing, Adam.

Thanks for getting in touch on this. :) To be totally clear, the links along the left side don't actually seem to have readable names. They mostly read as "link."

Messing with the layers doesn't seem to do much good, but I can't figure out which are activated at any given time anyway. That seems to be an Adobe Reader accessibility limitation.

Looking forward to your PM :)

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere.