Read PDF Aloud: Free & Paid Options

Learn how to use the latest in AI technology to have PDF read aloud, improving accessibility and more.

Many of the most critical documents we receive in our everyday lives are in PDF formats. From crucial contracts to your favorite eBooks, a PDF is a convenient file type for the receiver and the sender, but it can be unwieldy when it comes to reading them.

That's where the need to read PDF files aloud comes in. Whatever the reason you need PDF documents read aloud, whether for accessibility purposes, content creation, educational purposes, or more, text-to-speech (TTS) technology like ElevenLabs is a reliable tool to use.

In this article, we'll delve into the benefits of having a PDF read aloud to you, how to do it, and which speech apps or engines work best.

What Are The Benefits Of Text To Speech For PDFs?

Most of the content we consume in our everyday lives is stored, shared, and dissipated in text form. While text is a convenient medium to hold and store information, it doesn't suit everybody.

There are numerous reasons why having text read aloud may be easier for us to understand:

1: Make PDFs Accessible For All

Accessibility is key, and people with visual impairments, dyslexia, reading difficulties, or other learning disabilities may find it difficult to read or comprehend large blocks of text in a PDF document.

That's where a PDF reader comes in, which scans the document for text and turns it into an audio file. Visually impaired users, in particular, can benefit immensely from being able to hear a page being read out loud, but having an audio file may also benefit auditory learners.

2: Great Content Geared Towards You

Text-to-speech (TTS) functionality also allows you to convert webpage text into great audible content for any need.

Perhaps your PDF online university course materials are too dense to concentrate on in written form. Perhaps you struggle to focus while staring at a screen. Whatever it is, a text-to-speech format will turn your PDF document into a listenable format, allowing you to concentrate more.

3: Turn eBooks Into Audiobooks

Text-to-speech (TTS) websites allow you to upload eBook or ePub book files and have them read out for you, turning them into an audiobook with the click of a button.

This makes reading convenient. Whether you enjoy listening to audiobooks at the gym or have to catch up on important docs while driving to work, text-to-speech technology can transform an unwieldy text document into an easy-to-understand audio file.

4: Learn New Languages

Speech apps and speech engine programs can read out text in multiple different languages, helping you with listening and speaking comprehension when picking up a new foreign language.

When listening to text read aloud with multilingual support and in natural-sounding voices, it's proven that learners can improve their skills dramatically by actively listening over simply reading content.

5: Listen to PDF Documents On The Go

Whatever you're doing in your day-to-day, having a PDF file read aloud is an easier way to consume information than sitting and reading. Whether you're at the gym, on a long commute, or even catching up on housework, the ability to listen to your PDF document on the go with TTS technology means you can catch up wherever.

It's not just PDF files that can be read aloud in this way. All text files can be converted into audio files using TTS like ElevenLabs, whether that's a web page, a PDF, an ebook file, or even an email.

How To Have A PDF Read Aloud

There are many text-to-speech apps and sites out there promising to read aloud your PDF file, but not all of them are created equal.

Let's take a look at four examples of text to speech apps and websites, and see how they stack up on features, pricing, and more.

Platform Rating Monthly Cost Biggest Advantage
ElevenLabs ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ $1 per month Hyper-realistic voices and impeccable voiceover quality
Speechify ⭐⭐⭐⭐ $120 per annum Easy-to use, user-friendly interface
Adobe Acrobat ⭐⭐⭐ $12.99 per month Free Acrobat Adobe Reader app included
TTS Reader ⭐⭐ $2 per month No need to download apps – works directly in your browser


The number one on our list, ElevenLabs, converts AI text to speech with ease, engaging you in an outstanding auditory experience with a seamless process for converting textual content.

Sign up and register for free to enjoy myriad features and input and convert your content with our intuitive text-to-speech tool. You can then personalize and customize your selected text to be read out loud, pick from an extensive range of custom voices, or even clone your own voice.

The Free plan is forever, allowing you to generate compelling speech in 29 languages with a state-of-the-art speech engine, API access, high-quality audio file output at 128kbps, and access to the Voice Lab, where you can create custom voices using Voice Design.


Speechify offers realistic text-to-speech voices to read aloud the words you need to hear. Its user-friendly interface and features make it a great experience when it comes to listening to a whole document or page or even web pages. Speechify also has mobile apps on iOS and Android and a Google Chrome extension, so you can easily listen to your favorite Google Play books on the go.

Speechify has a few pricing plans for its users, with Speechify Limited being the free option. With this plan, you can listen anywhere with up to 10 voices. However, if you want 30+ high-quality AI text-to-speech voices, 5x faster speeds, and 20+ different languages, you'll have to upgrade to Speechify Premium at $139 per year.

3.Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe Reader may be the go-to for many people when it comes to PDF files, and their free Acrobat Adobe Reader app will read out loud to you with customizable options regarding speed, preferred reader voice, pause features, and text highlighting.

Users can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Acrobat Pro, but any more reading that needs to be done after that will require an update to Acrobat Standard ($12.99 per month) or Acrobat Pro ($19.99 per month) to get full access to the PDF tool.


TTSReader allows you to upload any text file, web pages, or books for listening purposes. Simply paste a URL to listen to any website on the web player with realistic-sounding voices to calmly dictate the content you want to hear. With TTSReader, you don't need to download apps, as you can activate read-aloud on the current page.

There are some drawbacks, however. TTSReader's free plan has ads and no commercial or publishing license rights, and you need to upgrade to a paid plan to generate audio files from text that you can download, as well as receive better customer support.

Final Thoughts

Adopting our predominantly text-based internet to become more interactive and inclusive is important work for us all in the next decade.

While text-based files are handy for sending, storing, and sharing messages, they don't suit everyone's preferred method of understanding and engaging in content. Recognizing this and providing audio ways of reading text is critical for individuals and businesses alike.

To do this work, ElevenLabs stands out as the best text-to-speech software. The hyper-realistic speech tool allows you to listen to PDF files out loud in multiple languages on a user-friendly interface with sophisticated features that help the listener understand written nuance, localized vocabulary, and exclamation.

With fantastic text-to-speech features like pause, reading speed, voice selection, intonation, pitch, and more, your listeners can configure your auditory files how you like them, using a voice that helps with your comprehension.

Try ElevenLabs for free today, and upgrade your written texts into audio files for improved accessibility and retention.

PDF Read Aloud FAQs

Explore more


Create with the highest quality AI Audio

Get started free

Already have an account? Log in