It's been over ten years since I sold the tech company I owned for 22 years. I've been enjoying retirement...until about a month ago! A friend recruited me to help convert some hard copy documents, produced in the mid-eighties, and make them into accessible PDF files. She knew I had some background in technology and specifically with creating PDFs from paper. The documents were going to be part of a new web site about the history of ADA! Given the nature of the site, the documents needed to be accessible! I downloaded Acrobat Pro DC (and a couple of screen readers to help with testing (JAWS, NVDA,(it wasn’t until later that I found Adobe’s ‘read out loud’ feature)).
I knew right away the Acrobat Pro software was one of the most incredible tools I've ever used! And I've tested a ton of software. My company was an ASP (Adobe Service Provider) for many years and produced a lot of searchable databases full of PDF files.
The 7 day trial and monthly subscription made it easy to get back in the game. I didn’t know anything about Acrobat Pro, I’d never even heard of it. After learning and using it for a couple of weeks I can absolutely say it IS the most completely amazing piece of software I’ve ever used! Congratulations!!
All of the old documents have been converted and have passed all accessibility checks!!
BTW – sometime in the mid-nineties I was selected to be the moderator of what I think was the first and only symposium on a new technology called “Portable Document Format”. If I’m not mistaken the companies represented were Word Perfect, WordStar and Adobe. The symposium was held at the headquarters of USGS (United States Geological Survey). My company had been experimenting with this new “universal” format from the companies represented. It was clear to us Adobe was way ahead of the competition. The symposium left most of the attendees with the same conclusion.
Also in the mid-nineties my company was selected to convert the whole collection of OTA (Office of Technology Assessment) documents before the agency was closed. We were having a problem with one of the documents; it was about 600 pages long. We tried and tried but could not make an image+text PDF from our scanned images. The PC kept crashing or locking up. I called Adobe and actually got the Acrobat Product Manager on the line. After some discussion he told me he had never seen a 600 page PDF and wasn’t sure if one could be created from hard copy…but if I was successful would I please send him a copy on a CD! We maxed out memory and everything else you could max out on a PC back then and voila! We made a 600 page PDF! The whole OTA collection is still available on the web site at Princeton University - http://www.princeton.edu/~ota/.
I’m pretty sure I sent him a CD.
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Shane Withrow commented