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Happy New Year, and welcome to the January issue of the CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter!

Have you made your New Year’s Resolution yet? How about resolving to achieve document accessibility in 2016? The start of a new year is a chance to lay out a new plan for accessibility and CommonLook can help.  A first step is assessing the level of your documents accessibility using the CommonLook PDF Validator tool. Check out our article on how to use the free, new tool and if you haven’t already, request your free download.

A second step after assessing your level of accessibility is remediating using CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess. Difficult repairs are made easy using the GlobalAccess tool, as our second article in this month’s newsletter will show you. Request a free trial here.

And three major events in the world of accessibility occur in the first part of this year – Impact UDL in Edmonton, Alberta from January 28-30, HIMSS in Las Vegas from February 29-March 4, and CSUN in San Diego from March 21-26. CommonLook will be there – will you? Request a free consultation with us by replying to this email.

As always, we welcome your suggestions for upcoming topics and would like to know what you think of NetCentric’s CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter.

Use this link to share your comments or story ideas with the CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter staff.


We Hope You Enjoy!

The CommonLook Accessibility Newsletter Team

Difficult Repairs Made Easy With CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess

Two things that can go wrong when tagging an untagged PDF document are:

  • The paragraphs being split into separate lines each with their own <P> Tag, and;
  • Lists being tagged as paragraphs.

These remediation’s are labour intensive if done in Adobe Acrobat Pro. CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess makes the remediation’s easy!

First, make sure under the Settings Ribbon that “Exact” is checked in the Selection Group and make sure on the Insert Tags Ribbon that the “Individual Parents” is not checked. You only have to do this once.

For remediating the paragraphs that have separate <P> Tags for each line of the paragraph, perform the following steps:

  1. Expand all of the separate <P> Tags so you can see the pieces of content under each Tag.
  2. Hold down the Ctrl key and click each of the pieces of content (not the Tag) for each line of the paragraph that is in a separate <P> Tag.
  3. On the Convert Tag Ribbon, click Paragraph.
  4. All of the individual lines of the paragraph are now nested under a single <P> Tag and will be read as a single paragraph by adaptive technology, not as separate paragraphs.
  5. Delete the empty <P> Tags from the Tags Tree.

For the lists that have been mistagged, select all the list items and then click List in the Conversion Tags Ribbon. You can then select the individual <P> Tags under the parent <L> Tag and click LI in the Conversion Ribbon. For more granular List Structure, you can expand the <LI> Tags and click Lbl for the bullet or number; or LBody for the content under the LI or List item. Currently, adobe Acrobat has no tool that will let you create a List structure by selecting content and clicking a button.

If you don’t want the <P> Tags in the <LI> elements, expand the <P> Tags as in the previous topic in this newsletter then click List. Select each piece of content that is to be a <LI> Tag and click on the LI button in the Convert Tag Ribbon.

It IS that easy.

Leveraging The Power of CommonLook Validator

CommonLook PDF Validator is the stand-alone validation tool that you have in CommonLook PDF GlobalAccess.

This free version of the validation tool will let staff who work with PDF documents but not necessarily other CommonLook tools to quickly validate PDF document accessibility as part of a quality assurance process when the PDF documents are returned to your organization from a remediation service.

CommonLook PDF Validator is easy to use and checks against several standards such as WCAG and PDF/UA.

If you are new to Validator, here is how it works:

  1. Open the PDF document you want to validate.
  2. Under the Menu Bar, click Plug-in, and launch the CommonLook PDF Validator.
  3. In the Checkpoint Configuration Pane, choose Configuration.xml as the default (you will need to do this with each document you validate).
  4. In the Standards Pane, choose from either a structure standard (ISO 32000 – 1:2008) or an accessibility standard such as WCAG or PDF/UA.
    1. You can come back and look at other standards for the same document.
  5. Choose whether you want an Incremental report or a Full report.
    1. Both types of reports open a Pane at the bottom of the main document area.
  6. Go through the checkpoints.
    1. What you will see are elements that need User Verification, Not Applicable, Warning, Passed or Failed.
  7. If you right click on any Failed checkpoint you have the options for Help or Status.
  8. For Failed checkpoints, return to Adobe Acrobat and make the repairs.

You can download CommonLook PDF Validator if you don’t already have it.




CommonLook to Connect With Healthcare IT Pros at HIMSS 16
HIMSS is a global, cause-based, not-for-profit organization focused on better health through information technology (IT). HIMSS leads efforts to optimize health engagements and care outcomes using information technology

The HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition is the industry’s largest health IT educational program and exhibition center. HIMSS16 will take place February 29 – March 4, 2016 in Las Vegas. Learn more.

If you will be in attendance at this year’s conference and would like to schedule a free consultation with CommonLookregarding your electronic document accessibility needs, please email

We look forward to seeing you there!


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