Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Chrome to convert images to text for PDFs it can read aloud

To make PDFs accessible for people who are blind or have low vision and rely on screen readers, Google has said that it is creating built-in Chrome browser features to help fix this issue for everyone with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).

The company is adding the ability to convert images to text for PDFs in Chrome browser on ChromeOS, meaning when a screen reader user comes across a PDF that does not have alt text (a description of the image embedded and readable by screen readers), the screen reader will be able to convert the image to text and read it aloud.

The company is expanding the ‘get image descriptions’ feature and adding even more functionality to PDFs, which was launched in 2019.

Image descriptions are available in Croatian, Czech, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish, according to Google.

The company is also bringing the ‘reading mode’ tool to Chrome browser, which it announced in March.

The tool will make it easier for students to read text by making it larger, changing the font and removing distractions.

The reading mode will also be available for Chrome browsers on all computers.

Reading mode and image-to-text will both begin rolling out in the coming months, the company said.



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