is an add-in toolbar for Adobe Acrobat® and Adobe Reader®
that renders PDF documents, scanned text and web information
accessible for speech feedback. Available for both Mac and
PC platforms, PDFAloud creates a world of opportunities for
users who have traditionally struggled with reading PDF files.
Using PDFAloud can help:
businesses comply with accessibility legislation by guaranteeing
users access to the information they need.
reading and comprehension capabilities for users with learning
access to PDF documents for students and employees with reading
or mild visual disabilities.
speech-enabled e-books and documents.
PDFAloud - Making ePaper Accessible
PDFAloud is an add-in toolbar for Adobe®
Acrobat® that renders PDF documents, scanned text and
web information accessible for speech feedback. Available
for both Mac and PC platforms, PDFAloud creates a world of
opportunities for many Acrobat and Adobe Reader® users
who have traditionally struggled with reading PDF files.
Public and private organizations are under
increasing pressure to provide equal and consistent information
access to all users. PDFAloud assists organizations in meeting
many legal requirements and technology standards, including
Section 508 accessibility and IDEA 97. While PDF is often
regarded as inaccessible to many forms of assistive technology,
the simple PDFAloud plug-in for Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat
Reader means dramatic new accessibility for visually-impaired
The PDFAloud toolbar:
discreetly within the Adobe Acrobat/Reader toolbar.
high-quality voices to read back selected text.
customize voice pitch, speed, volume and pronunciation.
dual-color text highlighting.
greater accessibility to website information, forms and curriculum
testing in PDF environments.
The PDFAloud toolbar (see Fig. 1) is added to
the Acrobat toolbar options. This simple toolbar has various
buttons to activate speech within the PDF as required.
Fig. 1 PDFAloud toolbar
Users can elect to have one word
spoken at a time or to hear an entire section of selected
text. (See Fig. 2)
Fig. 2 PDFAloud toolbar selection
The click-and-speak tool allows
the user to point and click the text that is to be spoken.
The text is immediately read back with dual-color highlighting.
This has been successfully proven to improve reading and comprehension
the previous selection.
the next selection.
PDFAloud-enabled documents contain a PDFAloud
menu (see Fig 3), providing access to settings controls. All
key features have keyboard shortcuts.
Fig. 3 PDFAloud menu
The voice pitch, speed and volume can be varied,
and users can choose from a variety of male and female voices.
(See Fig. 4)
Fig 4 Speech options
Occasionally a word may be mispronounced - this
can easily be fixed by opening the Pronunciation Options menu
and typing the word into the box as illustrated below. To
ensure correct pronunciation, simply type the word phonetically
into the second text box and save the changes. Afterwards,
every time the word is highlighted it will be spoken correctly.
(See Fig. 5)
Fig. 5 Pronunciation Options