Using Adobe's Acrobat Reader
Joanmarie Diggs is currently working on a script for Adobe's Acrobat Reader, and the initial version has been contributed to Orca v2.17.5. Note that there is still work to do, and we are very encouraged by Adobe's commitment to accessibility.
If you get Adobe Acrobat Reader directly from the Adobe site, you may find that the software will not launch. The symptoms: If launched from the Applications menu, it appears that nothing has happened. If launched from a terminal window, you receive a long series of syntax error messages. Should this occur, you will need to edit your /usr/bin/acroread file as described in this Ubuntu forum thread.
If you instead choose to install Acrobat Reader from your distribution's packages, be sure to install both acroread and acroread-plugins. Without the plugins package, you will not have the access to the "Reading" category in the "Edit->Preferences" dialog.
Note: If you use Ubuntu and cannot locate the acroread package, you will likely need to edit your /etc/apt/sources.list to include the 'multiverse' repository. Then run apt-get update. Having done so, you should then be able to install both acroread and acroread-plugins.
Enabling Accessibility and Caret Navigation
Once you've installed Reader, you need to enable accessibility:
In the "Accessibility" category of the "Edit->Preferences" dialog, make sure "Always display the keyboard selection cursor" (Alt+d) is checked.
In the "Reading" category of the "Edit->Preferences" dialog, make sure "Enable document accessibility" (Alt+e) is checked.
Working with Untagged Documents
When you open an untagged document, you will be presented with a dialog box asking you to specify the reading order and the reading mode options. The default reading order is "Infer reading order from document." This setting works well for most documents, but not all of them.
The default reading mode will vary depending upon the length of the document: For short documents, the default is "Read the entire document"; for long documents it is "Read the currently visible pages only." Orca seems to provide much better access when "Read the entire document" is selected.
If you find that a document seems to be missing parts of the text, try changing the reading options. To do so, get into the Document menu and select "Change Accessibility Reading Options..." or use the shortcut Control+Shift+5.
The best page layout for reading a document with Orca is "single page". When "continuous" is chosen, moving focus to text as the page is scrolling can cause that text not to be read. You can change the page layout to "single page" by getting into the View menu and selecting the Page Layout submenu.
Regarding tables: As far as we know there's not currently a whole lot of keyboard support for tables in Acrobat Reader. This, by the way, is not an Orca thing; it is an Acrobat Reader thing.
Basically, there are the arrow keys. Their behavior is to move you first within the cell with focus, then to the next cell with data in it. Note that currently, Up and Down Arrow do *not* seem to move you vertically among cells -- at least that's been our experience with the tables we've tried. Instead, Up and Down seem to move you horizontally until you run out of cells on the current row.
Cut from Evince and Paste into GEdit
Francisco Javier Dorado Martínez has posted this trick for accessing PDF files via a combination of evine and gedit
I am using the following combination for reading pdf's. 1. Open evince and a pdf file 2. Press control + a for selecting all the text. 3. Press control + c for copying all selected. 4. Open gedit 5. Press control + v for pasting 6. Press control + home for go begining of document and read it. All these steps I have put in a python script and used the dogtail api (install python-dogtail package first) #!/usr/bin/python import os import sys from dogtail.procedural import * os.environ['LANG']='C' argumentos=' ' + sys.argv run('evince', argumentos) click('Edit', roleName='menu') click('Select All', roleName='menu item') click('Edit', roleName='menu') click('Copy', roleName='menu item') click('File', roleName='menu') click('Close', roleName='menu item') run("gedit") click('Edit', roleName='menu') click('Paste', roleName='menu item') #end of file. So when you run this script with a pdf filename as parameter, you get a gedit window with your text converted.