[Blindmath] problems reading PDF scientific documents

Michael Whapples mwhapples at aim.com
Tue Jun 19 06:47:03 CDT 2012


Hello,
I only really know about the question about diagrams and powerpoint.

On the diagram stuff there are many tools and many research projects.

Probably the most significant for drawing are the packages for LaTeX, 
you will have a choice of various packages, some general drawing 
packages others being specific to certain types of drawing. Also if you 
choose to use LaTeX for writing documents then this will fit in very 
well for including diagrams in documents.

One very popular package for LaTeX for drawing is PGF/TikZ, this is a 
general package but many packages for specific drawing types build on 
this. I think TikZ has a circuit library anyway. For a quick 
introduction, no where near covering all capabilities of TikZ, you may 
want to look at the LaTeX wikibook (http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/LaTeX) 
which has a chapter on PGF/TikZ.

However here are two other packages for LaTeX for circuit diagrams, 
circuitikz and circ. Doing a google search for the package name 
(probably also with LaTeX) should give useful results for learning about 
those packages.

Other accessible tools for drawing I think are more general or are not 
specific to circuit drawings. However some of the more general tools may 
still be useful. I know that Richard Baldwin made some tools for 
creating SVG diagrams, if you go back through the list you probably will 
find links to them.

Another alternative might be IVEO from ViewPlus but then you are talking 
quite a bit of money, however IVEO could also provide help with reading 
diagrams as well.

Also I know some here have mentioned using the voice 
(http://www.seeingwithsound.com) to view diagrams (both printed and on 
the computer I think). I personally never really managed to get on with 
the voice, but I can see value in it if you can learn to use it. How 
complicated the diagram can be before its too hard to understand with 
the voice I don't know, others might be able to give better advice.

Finally I will mention a research project, I think they have a prototype 
out, and while they haven't focussed on circuit diagrams may be they 
would be willing to look at supporting them if you were willing to work 
with them and give feedback. Anyway the website for that project is 
http://ccmi.eecs.qmul.ac.uk

Now to the powerpoint stuff, or may be more accurately electronic 
presentations. I personally have not used powerpoint so don't know much 
about it. If for diagram creation and document authoring you were to go 
with LaTeX, an obvious extension might be to do your presentations in 
LaTeX. There are a number of packages for doing this, beamer is the one 
I know about and one of the more popular. With beamer you write your 
document in the same way as any other LaTeX document, inserting commands 
to tell it where slides begin and end, information about overlays, etc, 
and then you compile to PDF. When you give the presentation, you open 
the PDF in adobe reader, change to full screen mode and move by pages to 
change the slide.

How to follow what you are presenting when doing the presentation is 
something you may need to work out for yourself. Some have said one 
problem with beamer is that the output is not accessible to them, that 
is not too much of a problem for me as I don't like using a screen 
reader while presenting, its too easy to have awkward pauses while you 
listen to what the computer speech is saying, so normally I have 
Brailled notes to hand.

I hope this helps you.

Michael Whapples
On 18/06/2012 23:04, Géssica Michelle dos Santos Pereira wrote:
> Hello Michael,
>
> Thanks for your e-mail and encouragement.
> As you suggested feeling free to ask questions, here they go:
> - I would like to hear more about the diagram tools as I deal with
> circuit diagrams in charts all the time;
> - I am having problems getting MatLab to work with Jaws. I followed
> the instructions from MathWorks and Java Access Bridge sites....but,
> no success.
> - Power point: how to make presentations without getting lost in the
> script? (do I have to memorize the whole article?)
> - Can I get a tip on a good tool that can replace HP50G calculator?(Do
> I really need to solve all the integrals analitically?)
>
> That's all I can think of, at the moment.
> Thanks again for all your support.
>
> Best wishes,
> Gessica Michelle
>
> 2012/6/13, Michael Whapples <mwhapples at aim.com>:
>> Its good to hear that you are having some success.
>>
>> As for diagrams, yes they probably will need some help from another
>> person, however there are a number of tools out there which may help
>> you. Some are commercial offerings and cost others are free and
>> sometimes part of a research project. There are tools for both viewing
>> and creating diagrams. I have just finished preparing some examples for
>> a workshop on creating diagrams within LaTeX documents, the particular
>> package I am covering in the examples is a general drawing package but
>> there are some packages which build on it for more specific diagram
>> types (probably even ones for electrical circuit diagrams).
>>
>> There may be times when it all seems hard and the odds against you, but
>> keep pushing and you should manage to succeed in the end. Feel free to
>> ask more questions if you have them (eg. if you want more details on
>> accessible diagram software).
>>
>> Michael Whapples
>> On 13/06/2012 22:37, Géssica Michelle dos Santos Pereira wrote:
>>> Hello,
>>>
>>> Thank you again for the advice.and sorry for the late response.
>>>
>>> Here some good news:
>>> I've tried the Mathtype, the result is not bad. It doesn't work as the
>>> tutorial says, but maybe it is because of  the version. The important
>>> thing is that I am not in the negative zone anymore, this means  that
>>> for the first time I've been able to read a doc document with
>>> formulae.
>>>
>>> I will try to ask for help from some sighted to clean the input pdf
>>> document after printing it into tif, then process it in InftyReader.
>>> Anyway, I am an Electrical Engeneer and I will keep needing a sighted
>>> help because of the diagrams and charts.
>>>
>>> I've asked  the original document in doc to some paper's authors and
>>> so far I've got three replies out of four requests ... not at all
>>> bad!!!.
>>>
>>> I haven't tried the MathML and the MathPlayer yet, but I will.
>>>
>>> Well... so far, so good.
>>>
>>> Kind regards,
>>>
>>> Géssica Michelle
>>>
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>>
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