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25 November 2011, 16:17

Accessibility checker extension for LibreOffice and released

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Zoom The AccessODF extension runs in the Accessibility section of the Task Pane in Writer
Developers at the Belgian university Katholieke Universiteit Leuven have released AccessODF, an open source extension for the Writer word processing app in LibreOffice and With the extension, Writer users can evaluate and repair accessibility issues in documents, including OpenDocument (ODF), DOC and Office Open XML (DOCX) files.

The accessibility checker works by finding issues in documents that make it hard or, at times, impossible for people with disabilities to read. These issues include insufficient colour contrast between text and background, missing alternative text for images and other objects, missing language identification, and the incorrect use of heading styles.

Zoom After scanning a document, the extension provides a list of all issues and repair suggestions
The extension displays a list of errors in a panel next to the authoring area, providing descriptions of any issues and suggestions for repairing them. Some issues can be fixed simply by pressing the repair button, after which the extension will automatically fix the problem(s). Remaining errors will have repair suggestions and instructions. Alternatively, users can select the ignore button.

The developers have also released new versions of the odt2braille and odt2daisy extensions. The new version of the odt2braille extension, which adds a "Braille" menu to Writer that allows users to translate documents into Braille formats such as .brf or .pef or send the content to Braille printers for embossing, includes support for more languages and Braille embossers, as well as expanded formatting settings for professional users.

The update, version 2.1.2, to the odt2daisy extension, which enables the creation of DAISY3 format digital audiobooks from Writer, has better support for tables and table captions, long descriptions, and multi-lingual documents and non-Western languages. Handling of title pages has been improved and it also prevents the use of incorrect bit-rates for text-to-speech conversion.

Development of AccessODF, as well as odt2braille and odt2daisy, was supported by the EU-funded AEGIS Project. AccessODF 0.1.0 is available to download for and LibreOffice and a user guide is provided. Hosted on SourceForge, AccessODF is licensed under the LGPLv3.

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