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Unreadable PDFs and Heading Styles

CHSS Online Teaching Initiative

“Unreadable” PDFs and Heading Styles

Some course materials may not be compatible with JAWS, which is a screen reading software used by students with visual impairments. For example, some scanned materials may not be recognized by the program. Consider using simple word processing programs such as Microsoft Word or Notepad for creating pdfs. Use heading styles to mark sections. If you need to use scanned materials, contact the library and the Office of Disability Services and request their help finding sources of readable pdfs. For shorter handouts, use Adobe Professional’s optical character recognition function. Click Tools → Action Wizard → Make Accessible. The program will go through several steps in character recognition and ask for descriptions. The program is not perfect and will leave lots of typos that need to be corrected.