[scribus] PDFs not working with screen reader

Julian Robbins julian.robbins at q-par.com
Thu Nov 12 11:26:43 CET 2009

> Hello, I use Scribus (on Ubuntu) to publish a local club newsletter,
> outputting it to PDF, which is then distributed by email. One of our
> members is visually impaired, and uses a screen reader called Jaws to
> read text. He reports problems getting this software to read the PDFs
> I create with Scribus, which he doesn't experience with other PDFs. I
> really don't know where to start trying to resolve this. Does anybody
> here have any experience with using Scribus to make PDFs suitable for
> working with speech and brail devices? Examples of the newsletter in
> question can be found at www.readifolk.org.uk
> -- Stewart H

I've noticed this before. I try and make my PDF's so that they are
parsible by text readers so my website built with Plone and Google can
index the PDF contents fully. And can work for people with sight
disabilities ..

A trick that does work is to run your Scribus created PDF thru the
compress script, which as well as making the PDF's far smaller makes the
text fully parsible. The compress script you can find on the Scribus
Wiki http://wiki.scribus.net/index.php/Web_optimised_PDF.

By the way, I've tested parsing PDF's to extract readible text from
'fixed' PDF's, and surprisingly Adobe Reader is really very poor at
this. Using std GPL tools works much better ..

Please contact me offlist, if you want more help, as I'm in the UK too.

Kind regards


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