How to digitise paper resources and get the most from Read&Write's PDF reader

Over the years, you have probably gathered a mound of paper resources that you would love to use in a digital capacity, so that you can avail of Read&Write’s features. You may have already scanned these documents to turn them into PDFs in the hope of using the toolbar - but are finding that text-to-speech doesn’t seem to work with these PDFs. Well, that’s because they haven’t been converted into an accessible form of PDF. So, we’ve created this article to help make sure your great resources aren’t going to waste.

How to digitise resources, convert inaccessible PDFs, and get the most from Read&Write’s PDF reader

What is the difference between accessible and inaccessible PDFs?

Accessible PDFs are made up of layers of text and images, and are those that have been digitally created using software such as Microsoft Word. The text in these documents can be highlighted, and images can be resized, moved or deleted. 

Inaccessible PDFs are not made up of layers, which means they are recognized by the computer as flat images. Plus, the content is “locked”, so any text it contains is not identified as text by the computer. This means computer readers are not able to read the document aloud. These types of PDFs include pictured or scanned PDFs created when hard copy documents are scanned into office scanners, or when screenshot images or camera images (jpg, tiff or png files) are converted into PDFs.

That’s why some of the PDF files you may have saved are not being read by Read&Write. But, they can be converted into an accessible format by OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, which converts images of text into computer-readable text. This technology is available through our Read&Write for Windows Scanning feature or through the Google Chrome Snapverter add-on.

How can you convert inaccessible PDFs into a format that Read&Write can read aloud?

Simply select the option that applies to you below, and follow our step-by-step journey to learn how to digitize resources, convert inaccessible PDFs, and get the best use of Read&Write’s PDF Reader: