Reading PDF

You can listen to your PDF file using a built-in version of Nuance® RealSpeak™.


To set up default read aloud parameters

From the main menu, choose Edit > Preferences > TTS > Setup to specify language, voice, volume and rate. You can set here the range of accessibility for the entire document or for the first several pages only, and decide if you want to use tags to define the reading order.


To set up current read aloud parameters

From the main menu, choose Document > Document Properties > Advanced, specify the reading order (from the left to the right or from the right to the left), as well as the language for the document to be read aloud.


To have text read aloud

From the main menu, choose Tools > Read PDF and select one of the drop-down menu items

  • Read Current Page,  

  • Read to End of Document

Once you have started reading, the Read PDF toolbar is displayed.


PDF Converter eng tb readpdf Reading PDF


It has following controls (from left to right):

Stop – stops reading out

Pause – pauses reading. When paused, the button changes to Resume.

Previous page – jump to the beginning of the previous page

Previous paragraph – jump to the beginning of the previous paragraph

Next paragraph – jump to the beginning of the next paragraph

Next page – jump to the beginning of the next page


These playback controls are also available from the Tools > Read PDF menu during reading.


Reading order by tag structure


You can have PDF documents read out by using the Read PDF command under the Tools menu. In such cases it is the in-built application algorithm that determines the actual reading order. With the new tag support however, the application introduces an alternative: reading PDF documents out following a reading order as defined by the tag structure.


To utilize this, choose Edit > Preferences > Text To Speech, and mark the ‘Use tags for reading out’ checkbox.


When the application is reading out a PDF using its tag structure, it utilizes the following mechanism:

  • Text elements: the Alternate Text property is read out. If it is not available, the program reads the Current (Actual) Text property. If this is not available either the text content of the given tag will be read.

  • Non-text elements (for instance, images): Since these have no text content, only two of the above steps may apply: Alternate text is read out – in its absence, Actual Text. Such PDF elements will have Alternate text if they have been created from Word documents using the proper settings in Word (Format Picture dialog, Web tab). If not, their alternate texts have to be specified manually through the Tag tab in the Properties dialog box.

There are certain tag types that are treated specially by the PDF reading feature. These include:

  • Tables: Reading first describes the table (number of columns and rows). Then table headings with the specification ‘Heading’. Afterwards reading navigates through the cells following the left-to-right and top-to-bottom order. For every cell, the relevant header cell content is repeated first, before reading out the actual cell content.

  • Headings: Before reading each heading, its level is defined.

  • Numbered or Bullet Lists: First, the number of list elements is specified, then list elements themselves are read out.

  • Form fields: When reading out uses tagging, only tagged form fields are included in it. In untagged documents, all form fields are read out – after the document content.

  • Annotations: In tagged documents, only tagged annotations are read out. In untagged ones – all annotations (after form fields – if any).

These tag types are created when you generate tagged PDF files from Word using the Create PDF menu or toolbar button. The layout analyzer built into the product is not capable of detecting these tag types.




We recommend that you use tag-defined reading order if you have a complete and verified tag structure.


To save the whole document text to a sound file

  1. Choose Tools > Read PDF > Read to File.

  2. Name your file in the Save As dialog box and choose the file type wav.


Reading out using Jaws®

The software Jaws is one of the most widespread screen-reader application used to read texts of interface elements as well as document content. If Jaws is installed on your machine, this release of PDF Converter Professional works in close cooperation with it.

Having your PDF read out by Jaws is an alternative for the in-built, tag-driven document reading capability of PDF Converter Professional. With Jaws running, as soon as a PDF is opened in PDF Converter Professional its content will start to be read out. For this reading method, the following keyboard actions are available:

  • Left arrow: read previous word

  • Right arrow: read next word

  • Up arrow: read previous content element in tag tree

  • Down arrow: read next content element in tag tree

  • CTRL+UP: read content of previous tag

  • CTRL+DOWN: read content of next tag

  • Page Up: read first content element of previous page

  • Page Down: read first content element of next page

  • Home: read first content element of document

  • End: read last content element of document

  • Escape: cancel reading

Parsing the whole PDF document for reading may take longer than desired. To control the amount of text to be read out in one portion, use the Properties dialog box under Tools > Read PDF: specify either the entire document or a certain amount of pages starting from page 1. If you opt for choosing the whole PDF, rea
ding will proceed in 5-page portions. To navigate among these sections, use  CTRL+Page Down and CTRL+Page Up.


To save only part of a PDF document to a sound file, use Split Document first.


This product can read text in the language you chose at installation time.

If a suitable version of Nuance® RealSpeak™  or OmniPage is available on your computer, you can select any language and voice that they offer.


Reading PDF