Google Docx Accessibility Broken on iPhone? Also Can't import from Dropbox to VoiceDream Writer

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iOS & iPadOS

I have been all over Applevis researching this before creating this post. For background, We produce a newsletter for Washington Council of the Blind. So staying with a format that can go between IOS and Windows, supports headings, and can easily convert to HTML or PDF is Important. Most of our documents come in as Word gfiles, so we have standardized on that format, DOCX. Some of us have chosen to do all our editing in Google Docx, on the iPhone, with a Bluetooth keyboard.

This worked beautifully believe it or not. Until recently with some work arounds, Google Docx was the easiest way to do this. It was very accessible and free. You could import the DOCX files directly from Dropbox, and VO read very well in the text area.

Recently there has been a change though. Now when you try to delete or backspace over words or letters, Voiceover just says selected item, without telling you what it is. I had always heard Google Docx was accessible on IOS. I couldn't find an app directory entry on that here. By accident I discovered you could create fairly well by making a new Google document, then saving a Word version. Otherwise Docx wouldn't tell you what you were deleting or backspacing over. It would just say selected item. This problem has now come to Word files as well.

I tried using Word on IOS, and the experience wasn't good at all. And I really don't want an Office subscription just to be able to save files in IOS.

I just bought Voicedream Writer, and could not find a way to import from Dropbox. I could see the files, bvut they were all dimmed, even when I chose make available offline. Have the developers ever said why this isn't possible?

In short, I need a program that will allow us to effectively create and import and edit Word files on IOS so that it will retain the table of contents and all the other features, and I am wondering if anyone is experiencing the same problems we are with Google Docx?
Also does anyone have a solution for merging lots of Word documents into one file without destroying formatting?

I had high hopes for Voicedream Writer, but why would they allow you to export, but not import? It makes the description very misleading. Are they still updating this app? It's all pretty discouraging. I realize there is no perfect editor for IOS, but this is 2020, and everyone claims to be accessible.

Reginald George CATIS
Assistive Technology Specialist, Washington services for the Blind

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Comments

Submitted by WellF on Sunday, December 6, 2020

Google docs behave just as you said. I can edit people's work by commenting, but interacting directly with the text is a pain.
I use notebooks 8, an outdated but free version, for writing on iOS. I'd recommend you read about this app to see if it suits you. It cannot edit .docx files very well, but you can format text for exporting as HTML and PDF.

Submitted by Remy on Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Unfortunately voice Dream Writer has never had the capability to import .dox files. I don't know why since Voice Dream Reader does just fine with them. And Writer can export to them. I assume it has something to do with the mark-up capabilities of Writer. I was very excited about this app too, and it is a really good one ... as long as you do @all@ your writing in it and don't try to import anything. Have you tried Pages? I know Last I heard it could input word files.