How to use narrator to read English pdf file

NOTE: I've tested this with Adobe Reader 7.0 , but this feature may be present in earlier versions too. I've never tested it with other applications, so if you find that it works somewhere else, I'd like to know about that.


There's a built in narrator in windows and it's able to "say" what you do on the desktop , so it can be used as an accessibility  feature, however it can also be used by the Adobe Reader to read the document.

I should say right now that the voice is synthesized, so it'll not be heard like a human is reading the text.

The engine I use (you can see the name & version on the screenshots below), misses some letters sometimes, so it feels like it reads half the word, and the other half is mumbled, but it should give the listener some cense of how each word should be pronounced, so one can read with the narrator and correct him/herself.

What to do:

First check that the narrator is enabled on your system by accessing the Start-> Settings -> Control panel

Then select Speech (here written in Hebrew, "dibur").

A window will pop up with the properties (the one on the right).

You may have a different version , if you want, get the latest from Microsoft's site. When this document was written 5.1 was the latest.

Choose the right settings for you on the text-to-speech tab (on the left)

Male/Female voice and the correct speed.

After you've done tuning the engine get a pdf file you want to be read.

(There are some free english stories in pdf format on the web, use a search engine to find one, I've found the "Treasure island" and some more).

Open the pdf using adobe reader , freely available from (there's a hebrew version there, called middle eastern)

You should see something like this:

Click the "view" tab

Choose "Read out loud" (it should sound the same in the Hebrew version) and choose how you want it to be read.