Text-to-speech and related read audio tools are being widely implemented in an attempt to assist students’ reading comprehension skills. PDF to audio system is a screen reader application designed and constructed for effective audio communication system. PDF’s were designed to present and exchange documents reliably, PDF are an open standard document format used globally, maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The document format is one of the most convenient method for electronic communication, and also for exchange of information. Hence, there is a need to make it more accessible to readers on screen through audio. PDF documents are designed and structured to contain links and buttons, form fields, audio or sounds, video, and business logic. The PDF to audio system will power text on screens to read aloud (speak) with support for many languages. In this research, the researcher has proposed to design and implement a PDF to audio system developed using HTML, CSS and PHP.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In 1991, Adobe co-founder Dr. John Warnock propelled the paper-to-advanced digital revolution with an idea he called, The Camelot Project. The objective was to empower the growing digital users the ability to capture documents from any application, send electronic renditions of these documents anywhere, and view and print them on any machine. By 1992, Camelot had developed into PDF.
Today, it is a document format trusted by businesses/organizations around the globe. PDF, or Portable Document Format, was the first file format of its kind to have the ability to store and offer content and images in a way that would protect the formatting of the original document. Regardless of which software, hardware or platform it is being viewed on. Inspired by the idea of digitizing the contents of the Library of Congress, Warnock's Team Camelot expanded to include developers with a diverse range of coding skills to build the platform-agnostic file format. Not only would the file format need to be compatible with the most popular platforms, they also needed to have developers that had experience working with printer drivers. It was this additional element that eventually helped to boost PDF's popularity around the globe - users everywhere could choose to 'Save as PDF' instead of printing out the document. The team created the initial version of the format in roughly a year, but the public launch would wait until June 1993 - in tandem with Adobe Acrobat Version 1.0. Acrobat was released to huge fanfare, and as the first program with the ability to read the file format, it's adoption was crucial to the initial success of PDF. Inspired by the idea of digitizing the contents of the Library of Congress, Warnock's Team Camelot expanded to include developers with a diverse range of coding skills to build the platform-agnostic file format. Not only would the file format need to be compatible with the most popular platforms, they also needed to have developers that had experience working with printer drivers. It was this additional element that eventually helped to boost PDF's popularity around the globe - users everywhere could choose to 'Save as PDF' instead of printing out the document.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
With PDF being the most used document format globally, there is a need to converts text in PDF formats into Audio signal. These can be utilized for various purposes, e.g. in the educational system, car navigation, announcements in railway stations, response services in telecommunications, and e-mail reading. Furthermore, people with vision disabilities can’t view or read PDF files and this is a major setback. This research addresses the problems in converting PDF text into speech. One is how to improve the naturalness of synthetic speech in PDF-based text into an Audio system.
1.3 AIMS AND OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
This research aims at the Design and Implementation of a PDF to Audio System to aid accessibility and easy text to voice assimilation of documents in PDF format.
The following are the objectives of the study:
- Develop a system that will convert PDF text to audio for easy assimilation of document.
- A system to easily detect a PDF file and convert to audio.
- To design a system that will assist people with reading disabilities to easily convert PDF text to audio files.
- To design and implement a system that will assist students’ reading comprehension skills.
1.4 MOTIVATION OF THE STUDY
Presenting reading material orally in addition to a traditional paper presentation format increases the inability of users to be able to decode reading material, and therefore, has the potential to prevent students with reading disabilities better comprehend written texts. There are several different technologies for presenting oral materials (e.g., text-to-speech, reading pens, audiobooks). Already text were accessible orally through books-on-tape and through human readers. There is a need to develop and implement a text-to-speech system that will be used widely in the educational settings from elementary school through universities. With the implementation of the PDF to Audio system, they will be an improved effects of text-to-speech and related tools for oral presentation of material on reading comprehension for students with reading disabilities.
1.5 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of the research is focused on implementing a PDF to Audio system to improve the usage of PDF documents and in order to achieve a more flexible audio speech system.
1.6 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
During the development of the research study, they following limitations were encountered;
- Limited research material available at the school library and on the internet.
- High cost of setting up the system as it requires a high programming language.
- Combining school work and carrying out the research.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
PDF – Portable Document Format.
Audio - Audio most commonly refers to sound, as it is transmitted in signal form.
Speech- the expression of or the ability to express thoughts and feelings by articulate sounds.
Oral - relating to the transmission of information or literature by word of mouth rather than in writing.
Reading Disabilities - a condition in which a sufferer displays difficulty reading.
File - a collection of data treated as a unit by a computer.
Document- A document is a written, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought.