How do I convert a document using SensusAccess?

You can use SensusAccess to convert documents with textual content into alternative formats.

For example, if you use assistive technology like high magnification, text-to-speech software, or a screen reader, you may use SensusAccess to convert an unreadable image of text or an inaccessible PDF into a Word file or accessible PDF. You may also use SensusAccess to convert text documents into audio files so you can listen to them on the go.

Tip: Conversion results are best for documents that are primarily text and comply with accessibility standards (i.e., proper use of headings and formatting). However, good results are also possible in multilingual documents and those with complicated elements.

Documents less suited for conversion are those with non-textual content (e.g., complex graphs and mathematical equations). Additional information is available on the SensusAccess resources page (opens new window).

Go to SensusAccess.

Select SensusAccess from the Course Navigation Menu.

Select a file.

  1. Open the Show available documents menu.
  2. Select the file to convert.

Tip: You may Enter text to filter documents in the field provided to search for a document.

Note: Depending on how an instructor has configured their UVACanvas course site, for example, if the Files tool is hidden from students, some files that students can access may not display in the menu. If you need to convert a document that you can only access via a link in a module or page in your course, download the document to your computer, then upload it to the UVA Library's SensusAccess form (opens new window) for conversion.

Select the Requested conversion.

Screenshot with the options described below. Graphic link opens modal with larger image. Press Escape to exit modal.

You will be presented with a list of Requested conversion options. Available options depend on the type of file you selected to convert and may include:

  1. Accessibility conversion: Convert a document to a more accessible file format, e.g., a PDF into a Word document.
  2. MP3: Convert a document to an audio file.
  3. E-book: Convert a document to ePUB or MOBI (Kindle) format.
  4. Braille: Convert a document to digital braille.
  5. DAISY: Convert a document to the DAISY audio book format.
  6. BeeLine Reader: Add color to the text in a document to make it easier to read. You can find more information about how it works on the BeeLine Reader website (opens new window).

Select the desired type of conversion.

Select the Conversion parameters.

Additional Conversion parameters will display for you to select.

Pictured above is an example where Accessibility conversion has been selected for a PDF file. Under Conversion parameters, there is a menu to specify the Target format for the converted file, such as doc - Microsoft Word or pdf - Tagged PDF.

Other conversion types include parameters such as the Language of the file, e.g., American English, the Base font size (for E-books), the number of Lines per page (for Braille), and the reading Speed (for MP3 audio files).

Select the Delivery method.

Select the desired Delivery method for the converted file:

  1. Campus email: Receive an email with a link to download the file.
  2. Download: Save the file to your computer.

Tip: The conversion process takes some time to complete, so the Campus email option is recommended.

Wait for the conversion.

Depending on the Delivery method you selected, you will be shown a success message (Campus email option) or you will need to wait to download the file (Download option).

Campus Email Option

View submission confirmation.

If you selected the Campus email delivery option, a message will display indicating that your file has been submitted for conversion. Details of the file, such as the file name, type, and target format will also be shown.

Check your email.

An email with a link to download the converted file will be delivered to your UVA email address. The message subject will include SensusAccess: Result and the file name, e.g., SensusAccess: Result of the Accessibility Conversion of Seeing+Course+Content... (The exact subject depends on the options you selected in the SensusAccess tool.)

Go to the link included in the email to access the file.

Download Option

Wait for the download to complete.

If you selected the Download option, a message will display on the screen to indicate the file is downloading. Wait for the process to complete.

Open the file.

When the converted file has finished downloading, you can open it on your computer.