Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

(See the end of this page for subscribing via email, RSS, browsing articles by subject, blog archive, APH resources, writing for Fred's Head, and disclaimers.)


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Converting PDF Files using Adobe's Online Utilities With Your Screen Reader

We've all needed to read a PDF file at one time or another, but getting our screen reader to cooperate is not always possible. There is a way to translate PDF files to something your screen reader can handle.

Follow these steps to translate your PDF file in to an HTML or text file.

  1. Place your reading cursor on the link that would download, or open the PDF file.
  2. Right click the link, or hit the "Applications" key. This key is located just to the left of the right-hand control key.
  3. Choose "properties" from the list.
  4. At the bottom of the resulting page, you should find the URL of the PDF file. This should look something like
  5. Copy the entire URL to the clipboard.
  6. Go to the following page: Click here to go to the Adobe Online Conversion page
  7. Look for the line "Enter a URL to an Adobe PDF document below":
  8. You will find an edit box a few lines down the screen.
  9. Paste the URL of your PDF file in to the box.
  10. Choose either HTML or Text by checking the appropriate option.
  11. Take a few minutes to fill in the information as to why you are using this online conversion utility, who knows, they may work even harder to make PDF files easier to use.
  12. Click the "Get this Adobe PDF Document" button.

Your document should come up in a new window. If you want to save the document to your hard drive, choose "Save as" from the "File" menu and remember to save as HTML if that was your choice of translation.

Click this link to check out Adobe's blog on accessibility:

No comments:

Subscribe to receive posts via email

* indicates required

Browse Articles by Subject

Follow us on Twitter


Write for us

Your input and support in the evolution of Fred's Head are invaluable! Contact us about contributing original writing or for suggestions for updating existing articles. Email us at


The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) makes every attempt to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the data contained in the Fred's Head articles; however, APH makes no warranty, guarantee, or promise, expressed or implied, concerning the content or accuracy of the information provided in Fred's Head. APH does not endorse any technique, product, device, service, organization, or other information presented in Fred's Head, other than products and services directly offered by APH.

The products produced by the American Printing House for the Blind are instructional/teaching materials and are intended to be used by trained professionals, parents, and other adults with children who are blind and visually impaired. These materials are not intended as toys for use by children in unstructured play or in an unsupervised environment.

The information and techniques contained in Fred's Head are provided without legal consideration (free-of-charge) and are not warranted by APH to be safe or effective. All users of this service assume the risk of any injury or damage that may result from the use of the information provided.

Information in Fred's Head is not intended as a substitute for professional advice or treatment. Consult your physician before utilizing information regarding your health that may be presented on this site. Consult other professionals as appropriate for legal, financial, and related advice.

Fred's Head articles may contain links to other websites. APH is not responsible for the content of these sites.

Fred's Head articles created by APH staff are (C) copyright American Printing House for the Blind, Inc. You must request permission from APH to reprint these articles. Email to request permission.

Any submissions to Fred's Head should be free of copyright restrictions and should be the intellectual property of the submitter. By submitting information to Fred's Head, you are granting APH permission to publish this information.

Fair Use Notice: This website may contain copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright holder(s). This site is operated on the assumption that using this information constitutes 'fair use' of said copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law.

Opinions appearing in Fred's Head records are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Printing House for the Blind.