Adobe Reader 8 has a built-in function which allows you to listen
to a PDF file instead of reading it on the screen.
Like most similar programs
it has its limitations. Listening to an artificial voice is
tiring compared to a human voice and there is a big difference between
the spoken word and the written word. However it has an interesting potential use for
To listen to a PDF file double-click on it to open it in Adobe Reader.
Click the top menu item "View" then on "Read Out Loud" which is the last menu item.
Click on "Activate Read Out Loud". You'll have to do this for each PDF to which you
want to listen.
To hear a certain paragraph put the cursor anywhere over the paragraph and left-click.
The reader will start after a second or two.
To read a particular page scroll to the required page and choose View/Read Out Loud/Read This Page Only. The number of the current page is displayed in the box in the top menu bar.
Choose View/Read Out Loud/Read to end of document to read from the current cursor position to the end
of the document.
The "Read Out Loud" menu also has "Pause" and "Stop" options.
While the read function is satisfactory for plain text "Read Out Loud" will read everything on
a page including the index and the header and footer.
For writers the "Read Out Loud" function could be a useful tool. When your article is ready
open it in OpenOffice (a free "word processor" program available from www.openoffice.org)
Click on the "Export Directly as PDF" and give it a name. Open in Adobe Reader and listen.
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