Re: for the third time, filling out a PDF

Bob Cavanaugh

If it's that important, I could send the form in question, but since
we have five forms now that are acting the exact same way, and Brian
provided links to two of them, I'm not sure what additional
information that would give.

On 5/18/22, Sarah k Alawami <marrie12@...> wrote:
what if though the form cannot be given due to privacy reasons. I was
under an nvda, still am actually, where I would not have been able to
show the form to anyone, and mean no one. If this is the situation the
OP is in is there an alternate to asking for the form(s) in question?

Sarah Alawami, owner of TFFP. .

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On 18 May 2022, at 14:30, Brian Vogel wrote:

On Wed, May 18, 2022 at 02:22 PM, Chris Smart wrote:

Again, could we see the file for ourselves?
This, this, this - a thousand times, this.  The terminology "fillable
form" (whether the file format is PDF or MS-Word) is one of the most
ill-defined and misunderstood in all of computing.

Many seem to define (incorrectly) a fillable form as an electronic
file format that allows you to open it and edit the content, which may
include the various form field labels as well as the areas, usually a
series of underscores, that act in precisely the same way as they do
on a printed paper form.  That's not a fillable form, and it's
certainly not reliably accessible because there are no form controls
that cannot be edited by the end user accompanied by the edit boxes,
checkboxes, radio button collections, etc., that should be fillable by
the end user.

There are electronic files that have labels along with controls that
are supposed to be fillable forms (and the IRS is notorious for
these), where the behavior of traversing the form does not behave
anything like one would expect it would.  For those of you who want
to play with two simple examples, neither of which I consider to be
accessible using Adobe Reader DC (which should allow the filling of
forms - it certainly has in the past) see: (version that's not claimed
to be accessible, though it does behave as a "point and click"
fillable form) (claims to be
accessible, and though it does announce the various form fields and
controls, you have to manually change mode to enter data, and
traversing the form is a nightmare.  Checkboxes, though labeled,
don't seem to be activatable (checkable/uncheckable) by the means I
typically use when they occur on web forms or in fillable Word forms).

The following is offered as an example of how MS-Word fillable forms
are created and used.  I realize that doesn't solve the problem here,
but I've been preaching the gospel of accessible MS-Word fillable
forms where each and every control is announced when you land in it,
can be repeated if you hit the F1 key (sometimes with additional help
when that might be needed), and is fully accessible whether a sighted,
blind, or somewhere in between person is filling out the form on the

Microsoft Word Accessible Fillable Forms Tutorials

Creating Accessible Microsoft Word Fillable Forms.docx (


Converting a Fillable Word Form to a Document Whose Contents Can Be
Copied or Edited.docx (


Examples of MS-Word Accessible Fillable Forms

Simple_Fillable_Form.dotx (

) (the one used in the tutorial on creating them)

BusNoteForm.dotx (

) (actually used in a local school, but anonymized)

Faux_Service_Invoice_Fillable_Form.dotx (


Commercial #10 Envelope MS-Word Fillable Form Template (


Every time I hear anyone on any of the various blind-centric
technology groups mention fillable forms I want to scream, and not
because they've mentioned them, but because most of the electronic
"fillable forms" are not only often not truly fillable, but often are
not accessible, either.

It is impossible to discuss anything in the abstract, really, when
someone is having an issue with a form.  That form must be supplied
(without anything filled in, of course) for potential assistants to
try to determine what, exactly, they're dealing with.


Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044

*You can't crush ideas by suppressing them. You can only crush them by
ignoring them.
* ~ Ursula LeGuin, The Dispossessed

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