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.

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Thursday, December 14, 2006

Adobe Can Read PDF Files

One of the biggest access issues on the web right now is our ability to read documents in Adobe's PDF format. There are tons of documents that are produced in this format and most of them can't be easily read by our screen readers. Even sighted folks have trouble reading the print because of the strange colors that were used in the documents or because the print is simply too small.

Adobe is working on this issue by adding a reading option to later versions of its software. Before I go any further, you need to make sure you have a few things in order for this process to work. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 or higher installed and you must have a speaker connected to your computer with the volume turned up. (It's good to have the speaker turned on too!) : )

Once you have both of those things, you can move on. Just follow these directions:

  1. Open any PDF file that you want to read.
  2. If you want Acrobat Reader to read the complete PDF file, press Control+Shift+B and it will start to read the file.
  3. If you want Acrobat Reader to read a selected page, click on the page you want to hear and press Control+Shift+V. It will then read only the page you have selected.
  4. To pause the reading, press Control+Shift+C. To continue reading from a pause, press the same combination of keys.
  5. To stop the reading, press Control+Shift+E.

Note: Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0 and higher will only read the contents if the PDF file is in English.

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