To read a PDF from the Books for All Scotland Database on your computer, iPad or other device, you need a program for reading PDFs.
Adobe Reader is free and available for Windows, Mac and other devices. With Adobe Reader on a computer you can
- zoom in to make the text bigger;
- change text and background colours;
- type answers;
- add highlights, notes and comments to the book,
- read the book with text-to-speech software.
You can also type answers into textbooks with answer boxes, such as the Scottish Heinemann Maths series uploaded by CALL Scotland.
Click here to download quick guides on Adobe Reader for PC.
On an iPad, you can read a PDF using several apps:
- iBooks is already installed on your iPad and lets you read PDFs. You can zoom in to magnify the text but it doesn't 'reflow' so you have to swipe the page around at high levels of magnification. You can use the built in Speak Selection to select text and have it read out (see Settings > General > Accessibility > Speak Selection). iBooks is good if you want to read a book, but not so good for the maths books, for example, because you can't type answers in or use drawing tools.
- Voice Dream (£7.99) is a good app if you want text-to-speech facilities. You can see the PDF with it's original layout, or you can see the text in the PDF without images or formatting and then change the font and colours.
- Adobe Reader is free but does not have text-to-speech. It's useful for the Heinemann and TeeJay maths books with answer boxes because it lets you type answers in although better apps are...
- ClaroPDF (£2.99) which has good text-to-speech (including Heather, the Scottish voice); dyslexia-friendly coloured backgrounds; and good annotation tools.
- PDF Expert (£7.99), which has got much better tools for typing and drawing on PDFs. We like PDF Expert for tackling the SQA Digital Question Papers.
- iAnnotate (£7.99) which is similar. iAnnotate has a nice tool for recording audio comments into the PDF, so pupils can use voice to answer questions.