Tue, 3 Oct 2000 10:09:46 +1000
Yes, I've successfully used this process to convert a few (admittedly simple)
PDFs. The White Paper referenced below may be of interest in preparing docs.
This may also be of interest:
Listen to Your PDFs!
Text-to-speech lets PDF files do the talking
Helloooo, can anybody hear me?!
Can PDF users actually hear me? Not likely, but if you are using Acrobat 4.05
and Windows, you can definitely hear your PDF files! That's right,
Text-to-Speech technology (TTS) has finally arrived.
PDF TTS is one area that Adobe seems to have nailed down tight and solid the
very first time. After running extensive tests with it, I was left very
impressed. For someone with no prior knowledge or experience with TTS, the whole
installation and configuration experience was almost effortless.
Where do I start?
You start your venture into this new PDF technology by downloading a 10-page
Adobe White Paper titled "Optimizing Adobe PDF Files for Accessibility" [PDF:
Go through the well laid out web pages to find out exactly what you will need
for your system, and where to get it. Adobe has done a fine job of documenting
everything they are responsible for, and they have provided all the required
links for any extra things you may need.
What's it all about?
PDF TTS allows Acrobat to read your PDF files out loud through your computer's
sound system. It does so with human like voices (with Microsoft's TTS engines,
thanks Bill). PDF TTS is designed mainly for meeting the accessibility needs of
visually challenged PDF users. However, as Adobe points out, and as you will
soon discover, being able to hear your PDF document is not only appealing to
visually challenged users. This technology has many other potential uses as
At the present time, this PDF TTS system only works with the contents of PDF
Forms. It will not read out the text of a standard PDF page (more about that
below), nor will it read out the text contained in any PDF images. However, with
a bit of careful planning and some hidden text fields, you can easily overcome
this so that your PDF files are fully TTS compliant!
Here's an insanely easy example. An entire existing ebook, in PDF format, could
easily be made to read out loud by simply generating a transparent overlay
template containing a hidden text field, on each page of the book. Then it would
only be a matter of copying and pasting the ASCII text for each page into the
corresponding hidden field.
The vast majority of this task can easily be automated with my FREE PDF
Enhancement Generator [PDF: 100 kb] available at Planet PDF.
Jeff Evans, Online Services Manager, Small Business Victoria
Tom Worthington <firstname.lastname@example.org> on 03/10/2000 09:06:40 AM
cc: (bcc: Jeff Evans/SBV/DSD)
Subject: Re: [LINK] PDF
At 10:30 28/09/00 +1100, Bill D'Arcy wrote:
>... try: http://access.adobe.com/access_email.html
>... send the pdf url and the conversion is sent back ...
Has anyone hay success with this? I tried it and got back gibberish in what
looked like the wrong character set. May have been because the PDF was
generated by DVIPDFM rather than an Adobe product.
Tom Worthington FACS email@example.com Ph: 0419 496150
Director, Tomw Communications Pty Ltd ABN: 17 088 714 309
http://www.tomw.net.au PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617
Visiting Fellow, Computer Science, Australian National University
Publications Director & Past President, Australian Computer Society
Network Becomes the Library: http://www.tomw.net.au/2000/isup.html