Converting Files with Sensus Access

Posted August 26th, 2021 at 2:41 pm.

The Sensus Access Document Converter is an automated, self-service system created that converts documents into alternate formats that better meet your accessibility needs.

Prefer video? See this demo from Sensus Access.

File types that can be imported include:

  • PDFs
  • Microsoft Office documents (.doc, .docx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Text files (.txt, .rtf, .asc),
  • LaTeX files (.tex)
  • Web pages (.xml, .htm, .html)
  • E-books (.epub, .mobi)
  • Images (.tiff, .tif, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .bmp, .png, .pcx, .dcx, .j2k, .jp2, .jpx, .djv)

Output formats include:

  • Text or Word files
  • Tagged (accessible PDFs)
  • E-books (with or without synchronized audio)
  • MP3 audio files
  • DAISY talking books
  • Braille

Converted files will be emailed to your brynmawr.edu email address when the process is complete. Note that the conversion process does take time: turnaround times range from a few minutes to several hours depending on the length of the document and the type of conversion.

Note: The Document Converter is designed primarily to quickly convert accessible documents between different file types to ensure readers have files that works with the assistive technologies they need. Although it can improve the accessibility of inaccessible scans and images, a human needs to check accessibility and fix issues before posting the converted files to Moodle or College websites. (See Create Accessible PDFs with Adobe Acrobat and Create Accessible Documents in Microsoft Word for how-to instructions.) Simple documents will have few issues, but documents containing tables, images, complex layouts, multiple languages or footnoting may need more human remediation.

How to Use the Document Converter

  1. Go to the Bryn Mawr College Document Converter page.
  2. Scroll down until you see the Document Converter window under Getting Started.
  3. Choose your Source:
    • File — upload a file that needs to be converted
    • URL — provide a direct link to a file that needs to be converted
    • Text — paste text to be converted into a text box
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions; see sections below for detailed instructions for each source type.

File or URL as Source

  • Step 1-Upload your document:
    • If you chose File as your source, click Choose File to browse for and select the file, then click Upload.
    • If you chose URL, enter it in the URL box and click Fetch and Upload.
    • In both cases there is a file size limit of 50MB. If your file is larger, see if you can split it up into multiple files. If it is an image or a scan, check whether it was saved at a higher than necessary resolution and reduce to 300-600 dpi.
Note: Fetch and Upload will fail if the Document Converter cannot access or download the file (for example, if a login is required). If this happens, download the file to a computer and use the Upload source option instead.
  • Step 2- Select Output Format — choose the format for the converted document from the drop-down menu.
    • MP3 — text-to-speech conversion to an audio file; more languages supported than for Daisy formats
    • DAISY full text and audio Daisy talking book file; fewer languages supported than
    • DAISY full math and audio — improved handling of math content, but only available in a few languages
    • Braille
    • E-book — reflowable-text (with or without synchronized audio) formats used by e-book reader devices and software, e.g., Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Bluefire, etc.
    • Accessibility conversion — converts image files or image-only PDFs into files with screen-readable text
  • Step 3-Specify Auto Options — choose settings for the different options available for that format:
MP3 options
  • Language: Select the language that your file is written in. For some languages, you may also have a choice of recording voices.
  • Speed: Choose the speed at which you would like the text read.
DAISY full text and audio options
  • Language: Select the language your file is written in. (If it isn’t listed, check whether it is an available language for MP3 conversions.)
DAISY full math and audio options
  • Language: Select the language your file is written in. (If it isn’t listed, check whether it is an available language for Daisy without math or MP3 conversions.)
Braille options
  • Language: Choose the language the file is written in. (If a language is not listed, Sensus Access does not currently support conversion to Braille for that language.)
  • Contraction Level: Choose the Braille contraction level for the conversion.
  • Target Format: Choose a format.
 E-book 
  • Format: Choose MOBI (Kindle) if the e-book will be read with Kindle; otherwise, choose EPUB3 with media overlay (includes a synchronized text-to-speech audio recording), EPUB3 (no audio), or EPUB (for old devices).
  • Baseline font size: Choose a default font size.
Accessibility conversion 
Note: If an output format above isn’t listed, it means that the Document Converter cannot convert the source file type you uploaded into that format. Choose a different output format or save your input file as a type that the Document Converter can convert to the format you want. For example, the Document Converter cannot create a Daisy file from a PDF; you could either convert it to MP3 instead or open the PDF file and save as a Word document (.doc or .docx), which the Document Converter can convert to Daisy.
  • Step 4: Enter Email Address and Submit Request, type in your brynmawr.edu email address in the text box and click Submit.

Text as the Source

  • Step 1- Enter Text: click inside the text box, type or paste in copied text, and click Upload.
  • Step 2- Select Output Format, select the format for the converted tex:
    • MP3 — text-to-speech conversion to an audio file
    • Braille
    • E-book — reflowable-text (with or without synchronized audio) formats used by e-book reader devices and software, e.g., Kindle, Nook, Apple Books, Kobo, Bluefire, etc.
  • Specify details for that format under Step 3-Specify Auto Options:
MP3 options
  • Language: Select the language that your file is written in. For some languages, you may also have a choice of recording voices.
  • Speed: Choose the speed at which you would like the text read.
Braille options
  • Language: Choose the language the file is written in. (If a language is not listed, The Document Converter does not currently support conversion to Braille for that language.)
  • Contraction Level: Choose the Braille contraction level for the conversion.
  • Target Format: Choose a format.
 E-book options
  • Choose MOBI (Kindle) if the e-book will be read with Kindle; otherwise, choose EPUB3 with media overlay (includes a synchronized text-to-speech audio recording), EPUB3 (no audio), or EPUB (for old devices).
  • Baseline font size: Choose a default font size.
  1. Step 4: Enter Email Address and Submit Request, type your brynmawr.edu email address in the text box and click Submit.
Note: Text input cannot be converted directly to Daisy or MP3 files. If you need these formats, paste the text into a word processing program like Word or Google docs and save it as a .docx, .rtf, or .txt file, then choose Upload as a source and upload that file to convert it.

More Resources

Filed under: Accessibility by Grace Cipressi

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