Topic: Troubleshoot problems reading PDF files with Supernova and Adobe Reader.

Created on:

Last updated on:

Applies to: ScreenReader, SuperNova Magnifier & Screen Reader

NB: Please note that product names in this article may have changed since the time of writing.

Description

You are having difficulty reading one or more PDF files with Supernova and Adobe Reader, formerly known as Adobe Acrobat. This article describes the steps for troubleshooting these issues.

Solution

There are a number of reasons as to why a PDF file may not read well with Supernova.

Check the PDF file is accessible.

Due to PDF files being in more widespread usage these days, a sizeable proportion of them are now accessible to screen readers and other assistive technology. Unfortunately, some authors still do not adhere to any accessibility guidelines thus rendering the PDF document unreadable. In the worst case, the document may simply be a scanned image or picture, saved as a PDF file. A screen reader would not be able to read these sorts of documents are they are essentially a just a photo. You can check the accessibility of a PDF file within Adobe Reader.

To do this:

For Adobe Reader X (10)

1. Press ALT + E. The "Edit" menu opens.
2. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Accessibility" and press ENTER. A submenu opens.
3. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Quick Check" and press ENTER. The "Accessibility Quick Check" dialog box opens. The dialog box will display information about how accessible the PDF file is. A PDF that is essentially just a scanned image will read:

Results. Accessibility quick Check is complete. This document appears to contain no text.

For Adobe Reader 9

1. Press ALT + D. The "Document" menu opens.
2. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Accessibility Quick Check" and press ENTER. The "Accessibility Quick Check" dialog box opens. The dialog box will display information about how accessible the PDF file is. A PDF that is essentially just a scanned image will read:

Results. Accessibility quick Check is complete. This document appears to contain no text.

 

Use a supported version of Adobe Reader

Which version of Adobe Reader to use will very much depend on the version of Supernova you are using.

For Supernova 12 - Adobe Reader X or later
For Supernova 11 - Adobe Reader 9
For Supernova 10 - Adobe Reader 7 or 8

 

Ensure the Dolphin cursor is coming on automatically

Supernova Access Suite and Supernova Screen Reader use the "Dolphin Cursor" feature to read PDF documents. As PDF documents wither have no physical cursor available, or the order in which the physical cursor moves through the text is not logical, the Dolphin Cursor is used to navigate and read the document in much the same way as it would on a web page. You need to make sure the Dolphin Cursor is set to turn on automatically when you open a PDF file.

To do this:

1. Press LEFT CONTROL + SPACEBAR. The "Supernova Control Panel" opens.
2. Press ALT + S. The "Speech" menu opens.
3. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Advanced Options" and press ENTER. The "Speech Advanced Options" dialog box opens. 
4. Press TAB to select the "Use Dolphin Cursor Automatically" checkbox. Press SPACEBAR to select the checkbox if not already checked.
5. TAB to the "OK" button and press ENTER.

If the Dolphin Cursor is working correctly, you should here an announcement " Dolphin Cursor On" when you open a PDF document in Adobe Reader.

Do not view the PDF files within a web browser

When you open a link on a web page that points to a PDF file, the default behaviour if for the PDF file to open within the web browser itself (for example Internet Explorer). Whilst the PDF will display visually correct on the screen, Supernova requires it to be displayed in Adobe Reader for best results. You can tell Adobe Reader not to open PDF files within a web browser.

To do this:

For Adobe Reader X (10)

1. Press ALT + E. The "Edit" menu opens.
2. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Preferences" and press ENTER. The "Preferences" dialog box opens.
3. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Internet".
4. Press TAB to move to the "Web Browser Options" group. You will be positioned on the "Display PDF in browser" checkbox. Use the SPACEBAR to ensure this checkbox is NOT checked.
5. TAB to the "OK" button and press ENTER.

For Adobe Reader 9

1. Press ALT + E. The "Edit" menu opens.
2. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Preferences" and press ENTER. The "Preferences" dialog box opens.
3. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Internet".
4. Press TAB to move to the "Web Browser Options" group. You will be positioned on the "Display PDF in browser" checkbox. Use the SPACEBAR to ensure this checkbox is NOT checked.
5. TAB to the "OK" button and press ENTER.

Change Accessibility Reading Options

You can change the way Adobe Reader renders an untagged PDF file to make it easier for a screen reader to navigate.

To do this:

For Adobe Reader X (10)

1. Press ALT + E. The "Edit" menu opens.
2. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Accessibility" and press ENTER. A submenu opens.
3. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Change Reading Options..." and press ENTER. The "Change Reading Options of Current Document" dialog box opens.
4. You will be positioned in the "Reading Order" list box. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Left to Right, Top to Bottom Reading Order". 
5. Press TAB to move to the "Reading Mode Options" group. 
6. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select the "Read the entire document" radio button.
7. TAB to the OK button and press ENTER.

For Adobe Reader 9

1. Press ALT + D. The "Document" menu opens.
2. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Change Reading Options..." and press ENTER. The "Change Reading Options of Current Document" dialog box opens.
3. You will be positioned in the "Reading Order" list box. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select "Left to Right, Top to Bottom Reading Order". 
4. Press TAB to move to the "Reading Mode Options" group. 
5. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select the "Read the entire document" radio button.
6. TAB to the OK button and press ENTER.

Contact Dolphin Product Support

If you continue to encounter problems, please email support@dolphinuk.co.uk attaching an example PDF you are trying to read. Please also state which version of Supernova, and which version of Adobe Reader you are running, and we will be more than happy to assist you.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this knowledge base article has been reviewed and is believed to be accurate and is provided "as is" without any warranties expressed or implied. In no event shall Dolphin Computer Access Ltd. nor its affiliates assume any responsibility for inaccuracies, errors, incidental or consequential damages resulting from any defect or omission in this document, even if advised of the possibility of such damages.

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