Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

We've been making books and we would like to hear how accessible they are from your perspective, and what we can do differently to make them better.
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Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

Post by
leahbrochu
»
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:35 am
For our first topic, we’d like to ask you about the technology you used during this project. It has been discussed in piecemeal fashions elsewhere, but we would like you to respond here so we can have this information all in one place.
  • What operating system do you use?
  • What software and programs did you use during your time working for NNELS?
    • Were any programs particularly useful? How were they helpful?
    • Were any programs particularly problematic? What issues did they cause?
  • Did you have any compatibility issues between Word and any of the documents and/or software you were working with?
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Re: Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

Post by
steve.murgaski
»
Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:33 pm
Hello. My OS is Windows 7 Pro. I have JAWS 18, and a Brailliant BI 40 braille display. I have Office 2013. In preparing videos for the conference presentation I used a Mac and iPhone.

My copy of Word crashed pretty frequently when working with the large docx file. I found it helped to unload JAWS and do some things with only Narrator running.

I installed a lot of software, but only had time to work with the braille translation packages Duxbury and BrailleBlaster. For reading ePub I was using QRead or Kurzweil 1000 on my PC, and Voice Dream Reader on my iPhone. To make videos for the EBook conference presentation I used QuickTime to capture my iPhone screen, and discovered that the resulting videos get part of the screen cut off if they're edited in iMovie on an iPhone.

I was happy enough with Dropbox for sharing files, but I found that editing a file which is stored on dropbox causes an inaccessible badge about collaboration to pop up. I reported the badge issue to Dropbox.
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Re: Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

Post by
ka.li
»
Wed Mar 28, 2018 9:50 am
I primarily use Windows but I also use Mac OS.

I used Voice Dream Reader for reading Daisy and EPubs on my iPhone. I also used Edge, and Kurzweil on the PC to read books. For editing books, I used Microsoft Word 2016 with JAWS and NVDA. Sometimes, I had to convert things so I used Codex and if I needed to look at HTML code, I used EDSharp. For transfering files, I used Dropbox.

EdSharp was particularly helpful because it's a text editor designed for coding so features such as moving through blocks of code and the way the find feature worked suited my needs a lot better when finding tags for style changes.

Even though JAWS had many powerful features that were helpful such as the skim reading tool and the feature to check for inconsistencies, JAWS is buggy so sometimes using those tools caused it to crash or not work correctly. Since NVDA is more stable and still allowed me to get the tasks done, I used NVDA a lot as well.
Last edited by ka.li on Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

Post by
rmarion
»
Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:29 pm
Here is a list of the technology I used for the most part doing the work for this project. I will also mention the issues I had with some of the software I tried as well.

I was using windows 10 as my primary operating system. I also have access to Mac OS High Sierra. The screen reading software I used was Voiceover on the mac and NVDA for windows. I also used Voiceover for IOS as well when I was looking at books on my iPad.

For reviewing existing books, I Used Voice Dream for IOS and iBooks for reviewing publisher files. I did have some issues with Voice Dream not being able to play the Audio from NNELS daisy books, so also installed the Dolphin Easy Reader as well. This seemed to work better for switching from the text mode to the audio mode.

For the book production aspects of the project, I primarily worked with MS word as the main software I used to do the steps my project Buddy and I agreed to work on for my book. I did try using Office for the mac but did find that in the end office for windows was easier to do the tasks related to marking up the book. However, office for the Mac was more intuitive for removing the existing styles from the book as it was easier to select all the styles and remove all the styles that could be removed from the document. But I did find out as I mentioned in the work flow topic, that when applying the NNELS template it did not do this correctly and I needed to reapply it again when I was finishing the project in the windows environment.

Other software I tried using to see if it would work was Calaber and the Adobe digital Editions. Calaber would be a great program for converting EPub to word files but it does have some accessibility issues in both OS environments. For the most part it does work in Windows, and I was able to do a couple of conversions. With Mac OS, it was difficult to find the files to convert so making an output file was not possible. I did manage to find the source file once but couldn’t tell you how I did this, and I am not sure if I could duplicate the process. With Adobe Digital Editions, I think it would be very accessible, but I had an authorization error when I installed it and just found out how to fix this today. I am assuming the fix will work as it involves deleting the authorization dat file.

I do have access to the Daisy Plextalk conversion program. However, this program is only for audio files and would not work for the type of production we were doing it is most effective when wanting to make standard mp3 files into daisy. Early in the project, I tried to run some of the ePub files through Docuscan Plus. The resulting RTF files were quite readable. But I don’t think it extracted text from graphics. This would require more experimenting. This program also could make daisy text and audio files as well. It uses the speech synthesisers you have installed on your computer to do this.

That is all I have at this point.
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Re: Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

Post by
ryano
»
Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:33 pm
• What operating system do you use?
• What software and programs did you use during your time working for NNELS?
I used MS word 2011 on my Mac as I have no problem with using MS word 2011. I use Mac laptop for the whole project and Ibook, dropbox. I also use zoom that are on my laptop but not use jaws as not suit me because I cannot heard as I more focus on text than audio as I am DeafBlind unable to hear and strong rely on visual such large print text and zoom.

The only problem I have is to be able to open file from dropbox onn my ipad. I am able to transfer the book into MS Word or ibook on my laptop.
o Were any programs particularly useful? How were they helpful?
o Were any programs particularly problematic? What issues did they cause?
When tried to download some program such need look into email for those info.
• Did you have any compatibility issues between Word and any of the documents and/or software you were working with
The only problem is that I have the problem is how to access to Daisy. Also still need to learn more about the temple as it is still my weakness. Maybe better if someone can show me in person as hand on instead of over internet online.

While use MS word it will not success fit into the goodread or ibook or kindle as I believe it need to be pdf file to be able to transfer it into goodread or ibook or kindle.
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Re: Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

Post by
leahbrochu
»
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:48 am
Thanks to those of you who have replied so far! This is an impressive collection of software and and even more impressive group of people, willing to try so many things :D
leahbrochu
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Re: Wrap-up week: Tech Talk

Post by
Daniella.LP
»
Fri Mar 30, 2018 7:50 pm
What operating system do you use?

I use Windows 10 with JAWS 18, and NVDA mostly as a backup. I also use Mac OS High Sierra with Voiceover. I use IOS 11 and Voiceover in my iPhone.

What software and programs did you use during your time working for NNELS?

For the book analysis of existing books in DAISY I used Read2Go and Voice Dreamer in the iPhone, as well as the Victor Reading Stream.

For the editing process I used MS Word 16 with JAWS 18.

I used Pandoc to convert epub files into Docx and HTML.

I used iBooks in IOS to read epubs, but I could not navigate to the headings. It would be interesting to also check if iBooks in OS can convey all the format information of the epub. Since I was editing in Windows, however, I did not try that.

In order to read EPUB files in Windows, particularly to see all the details of the format of the original book, I tried several things, and I found that all of them leave much to be desired in terms of conveying all the information that I would need to properly format the file independently:

With Adobe Digital editions, I could open the entire epub file and navigate to specific page numbers. Nevertheless, I cannot move by heading, and JAWS does not identify font types and styles. This was a bid disappointing because I had read online that Adobe Digital Editions is accessible for screen readers. I could read the content with JAWS, but not the format.

I changed the file extension from epub to .zip, and then open the zip file to see the different html files within the unzipped folders. I do not have the skills to understand the markup in the HTML; I would still like to learn how to do this). I checked the different HTML files in the unzipped folder; I found that the level of the headings was different from the headings in the .docx file; also, I could not find quotes in the HTML files within the unzipped epub.

Using Microsoft Edge, I opened the epub file. I could read the document, but could not find or move to headings or obtain other information about format.

I used iBooks in IOS to read epubs, but I could not navigate to the headings. It would be interesting to also check if Ibooks in OS can convey all the format information of the epub. Since I was editing in Windows, however, I did not try that.

Were any programs particularly useful? How were they helpful?

Pandoc was very useful to convert epubs. I wish I knew more about markup to understand how the format can be transferred properly using Pandoc, and to reduce the amount of work needed for editing.

I experimented a bit with Calibre in Mac (the ability to read magazines from all around the world sounds very interesting), but because I was working mostly in my Windows machine, I did not do much with it)

I used Dropbox to share files. I would also export DAISY files from Dropbox to Read2Go and Voice Dremer in my iPhone.Were any programs particularly problematic? What issues did they cause?

I tried to open the epub file with Sumatra PDF and with Azardi with no success. The file was open but I could not navigate or use any of the menus.

Early in the project I experimented with some tools to produce DAISY files: Obi, DAISY Pipeline2. I could not make them work and thought that it could be something related to my Java installation. I have an older computer in which I have MS Office 10 and tried to produce a DAISY file from it. It did not work; at the time I did not know about the need for specific DAISY styles for Word.

Did you have any compatibility issues between Word and any of the documents and/or software you were working with?

The large Word file crashed my Windows computer several times.

Navigating the ribbon in Word was frustrating at times. JAWS does not always read the shortcut. Going through all the pains takes time, and if I press the wrong key I have to start from the beginning. Also, in my experience there was a bit of a delay with JAWS to read the specific menu item the cursor was on some times. I found that at times it had read the previous button.

The first thing I did to work on my big Word file was to apply the macro I posted about early in the project to replace the styles for the NNELS ones and continued working on the file. But after I had cleared the format and started creating the headings in the different chapters, we realized that my file had additional styles and not only the NNELS ones. I wonder if this was a Word issue.

I could not open the big file containing the book I was editting in Word for Mac. Voiceover kept saying "busy"., the menu did not work; the only way to close Word was forcing it to quit (with Option-Command-Escape).`
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