[Athen] Listening to PDF files on iPad and iPhone

Shelley Haven ShelleyHaven at techpotential.net
Thu Mar 3 00:46:13 PST 2011

Another means of converting PDFs to ePub (for Mac users): copy and paste the text into iWork Pages, then export that text using Pages' File > Export > ePub function. Once transferred, the document now opens as a Book (not a PDF) in iBooks and works with the iPad's VoiceOver.

You can also convert Bookshare DAISY books this way: take the .xml file from the DAISY book folder, make a copy (to play it safe) and change the copy's extension to .html. Then open that in a browser, copy the formatted text into Pages, and export.

- Shelley

Shelley Haven ATP, RET
Assistive Technology Consultant

On Mar 2, 2011, at 5:37 PM, Sean J Keegan wrote:

> > And VoiceOver can read the PDF once it is open.

> > (The iPhone has native support for PDFs.)


> The catch with using VoiceOver with PDFs, though, is that it is a bit challenging to navigate through the document. VoiceOver seems to always start reading from the top of the document. You could navigate from page to page, but once on the page VoiceOver seems to read only from the top again. If anyone has any suggestions as to what may be happening, please post (navigating ePub content is not a problem, just PDF files).


> Another suggestion was iBooks and that could be an option. You can open the PDF in iBooks, but to have better navigation control you would need to convert the PDF to an ePub document using a converter such as something like Calibre

> (http://calibre-ebook.com), but this is fairly simple.


> Definitely some options to consider and it's hard to beat free. Most of the students I have worked with, though, tend to prefer more natural sounding voices and the iOS VoiceOver voice was not the first (or second) choice.


> Take care,

> Sean


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