SensusAccess is used by numerous colleges and universities to convert various document formats into other accessible formats such as PDF to MP3. UC Berkeley is one such university current utilizing SensusAccess. Much of the instructional information on this page is taken directly or paraphrased from the UC Berkeley SensusAccess website.
The quality of a conversion is dependent upon the quality of the original document. Additionally, the resulting output format may include enhancements for navigation if the original file contains the appropriate semantic markup. For instance, a MS Word document containing the heading style markup for chapters (e.g., Heading 1, Heading 2, etc.) will convert into a more usable DAISY or ePub format with the relevant chapter navigation elements. The following best practices identify simple methods to prepare the file before converting in order to achieve a high-quality output.
PDF & Image-based Files
PDF and image-based files will be processed using optical character recognition (OCR) to create a text-based version of the document.
- If scanning the document, ensure the scanned image is free from smudges, dark marks, highlighted text, or artifacts in the image. These will affect the accuracy of the OCR process.
- Minimize the effects from skewing. If the image is presented at an "off-angle", the accuracy of the OCR process will be lower resulting in a lower quality text version.
- If you are starting with an image-based format and wish to convert to a text format, you may achieve better results by initially converting to Tagged PDF and then copying/pasting the text into an MS Word document. While you can convert directly from an image file to a text file with SensusAccess, you may find better results for some image documents if converting to Tagged PDF and then to a text file (see "Converting to MS Word and Text Files" Tip Sheet in the right column of this page).
Get Started Converting a File
Notice: The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this equipment is liable for any infringement.
Best Practices Listed Below
Usage and Best Practice
This service is hosted by an external vendor, SensusAccess. Any information submitted will be processed by SensusAccess.
This service is provided only for personal, non-commercial instructional and educational use and any other use is prohibited. Further distribution of the files received from SensusAccess is prohibited.
Incoming documents submitted to the SensusAccess service are deleted from Sensus’ servers immediately after the documents have been processed. Information about the documents (types, sizes) is stored for internal statistical, administrative, debugging and support purposes only.
Outgoing documents that are delivered to the end user through a web link are stored on Sensus’ web servers for a period of 7 days using a secure, unique link, after which it is deleted. Other outgoing documents are not stored by Sensus. Information about the documents (types, sizes) is stored for internal statistical, administrative, debugging and support purposes only.
Email addresses of users submitting information to the SensusAccess service are stored for internal statistical, administrative, debugging and support purposes only. All links between submitted documents and email address are deleted once the documents have been processed. Users can request to have their email addresses removed from Sensus’ systems by writing to email@example.com. All removals are subsequently confirmed by Sensus by email.
No information collected by Sensus as part of the services is shared with third parties.
Neither the University nor SensusAccess will be held responsible for any information submitted that is disclosed and/or subsequently misused. The end user will be solely responsible for, and will indemnify the University from and against, all claims and legal and financial consequences if sensitive or confidential information is sent either intentionally or unintentionally to SensusAccess for processing. SensusAccess endeavors to provide accurate conversion results but neither the University nor SensusAccess can guarantee such results.
Please be aware that use of SensusAccess for processing copyrighted materials other than for the purposes described above may constitute copyright infringement. The end user is solely responsible for, and will indemnify the University from and against, any claims in connection with end user's misuse of this service. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.