We have upgraded our service so that we can generate a text version of pages which we present as facsimiles (JPEGs in the browser). This has been on our ‘to do’ list for a long time and now that we have it the ‘screen readers’ that help the visually impaired to navigate and search web pages can get a grip on our service.

The text-only version of any particular page is accessed by clicking ‘Show All’ on a grey bar near the bottom of each page. Our import process has been changed so that we can rebuild the text in an appropriate order as we extract words from the PDF files supplied by publishers. The process is not 100% perfect (mainly because magazine layout can be very free form) but the result is quite readable and will be useful to many with print disabilities. We expect to be able to tweak some improvements as we move forward. Files in the archive will gradually be converted, meanwhile you can see it in action from today with the French version of Le Monde Diplomatique, Taste Italia, and The World Today.

Try this Recipe for Spinach Dumplings

A screen shot of the recipe’s final stages as the text version is presented on screen.

The resource can also be used to cut and past a quotation from the magazine into a document (previously users could only ‘clip out’ a selection from the JPEG or retype).