User Guide

1. Introduction

AccessODF helps authors evaluate and improve the accessibility of their documents in or LibreOffice Writer. A document may contain many problems that the author is unaware of but that can keep someone with a disability from accessing the content. This is true whether documents are accessed in Writer itself, or exported to a more common format like HTML or PDF. Thanks to the extensions odt2daisy and odt2braille, Writer documents can be a suitable source for formats specifically aimed at persons with disabilities. But in order to create valid and usable Braille or DAISY books, the source document needs to be accessible.

You can do several things to increase the accessibility of ODT documents. The following documents give you a number of guidelines:

AccessODF helps you to keep these rules in mind and makes it very easy to write accessible documents. Checking the accessibility is now as straightforward as checking the spelling: similar to the spelling checker alerting you to potential spelling errors, the accessibility checker helps you identify and resolve potential accessibility issues.

2. Installation

AccessODF is available as an extension. The installation requires 3.3. AccessODF runs on all platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Linux).

  1. Download the installation file (OXT)
  2. In Writer, go to Tools > Extension Manager...
  3. Click Add...
  4. Select the OXT file and click Open
  5. Wait until the installation has finished, then click Close
  6. Finally, restart Writer

Warning: If you get an error dialog with the words in it when installing the extension on Ubuntu, open a command line and enter the command
sudo apt-get install libreoffice-java-common.
This solution may also work for other Linux distributions when you adapt the package installation command. For example, on Mageia 3, you need to run urpmi libreoffice-java-common (with administrative rights).

3. Evaluate accessibility

The accessibility checker is shown in the Accessibility section of the Task Pane in Writer.
The Accessibility section of the Task Pane
You might have seen this Task Pane before in Impress, where it is used for Master Pages, Layouts, Custom Animations and Transitions. It is usually located at the right side of the workspace, but it can also be placed at the left or even undocked. To check the document for possible issues, do the following:

  1. Open the document in Writer
  2. Go to Tools > Accessibility Evaluation...
    The Accessibility Evaluation item in the Tools menu
  3. Click Check
    The check button
  4. Wait for the tool to scan the whole document

The task pane displays all issues in a 'tree' view. While navigating the issues, focus will move to the relevant location in the document. Each issue is classified as an error or a warning. Selecting an issue shows information about why something might be inaccessible, and instructions on how to fix it.
The accessibility checker gives an overview of all issues in a tree view
You can include or exclude certain checks specific to the export to DAISY and Braille. To show these options, go to Tools > Options... > Writer > Accessibility Checker. In order to do Braille-specific checks, odt2braille version 1.1.0 or later must be installed.
The Options page

4. Resolve accessibility issues

Each error or warning includes instructions on how to fix it manually. For some issues, you can also use the handy Repair button. This button either fixes the issue automatically, or it sends you in the right direction so that you can skip a few steps. It is also possible that the checker reports an issue where no problem exists. In this case, just ignore the issue with the Ignore button.

  1. Select an issue
  2. If this is not a real issue, click Ignore
  3. Else, if the Repair button is enabled, use it to fix the issue (semi-)automatically
  4. Else, fix the issue manually
  5. Repeat this until no issues are left

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