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Online conversion tools

Adobe and accessibility

Online conversion tools for Adobe PDF documents

These online tools help visually disabled users by converting Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) files into either HTML or ASCII text. These tools are for anyone who wants to convert files online, including people who use Adobe® Reader® on Unix or mobile device platforms. Users on Windows or Macintosh platforms may instead, wish to download the most current version of Adobe Reader. It's free, more convenient, and provides greater capabilities than the simple text conversion available with these tools.

The conversion tools work best on documents in English. Documents in European languages, such as French or German, should convert fairly well with the exception of symbols that cannot be represented by text-based formats, such as umlauts. Languages requiring double-byte characters, such as Japanese, Chinese, and Korean, are not supported.

Following is a brief overview of the online conversion tools available to transform PDF documents to other formats. For more information about how these tools convert the files, go to the "More about online conversion" section of this page or read the frequently asked questions about these online conversion tools.

Web-based forms submission tool
If the Adobe PDF file is on the Internet, users type the URL into an electronic form and select the "Get This PDF Document as HTML" button. The document will be converted on-the-fly to HTML and will be returned immediately to the Web browser.

E-mail submission tool
If the Adobe PDF is on the Internet, users can submit the URL of a PDF file via e-mail to convert it to HTML or ASCII text. PDF files that are on a local hard disk, local CD-ROM, or local area network can also be converted by attaching the PDF file to an e-mail message. The converted results are returned in the body of a new e-mail message in a matter of minutes.

More about online conversion
Using either the Web-based form or the e-mail submission tool, when converts PDF to HTML all existing hypertext links are converted into HTML links. This includes intra-document links as well as links to other documents on the Internet. Extra HTML links are also created to enable easy navigation between pages. The very first line of the document will contain at least two of these special links:

  • Document Body is a special link to the start of the body of the document.
  • Page Navigation Panel is a part of the document that contains links to each page of the document. For example, if the document has five pages, the Page Navigation Panel would have links called 1 2 3 4 5, each corresponding to its respective page.
  • If the PDF document contains Acrobat bookmarks (these are different from the bookmarks associated with the browser and are like an electronic table of contents feature), they’ll be converted to a Document Outline that contains HTML links corresponding to the original Acrobat bookmarks.
  • Between each page of the document, links are inserted to make it easy for you to move to the next and previous pages.