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Reading PDF documents with SuperNova

This article describes how to read PDF files using supernova, including how to make sure both SuperNova and Adobe Acrobat Reader are set up correctly. It also explains how to read inaccessible documents.

Install a PDF Reader

By default, Windows 10 uses the Microsoft Edge web browser as the default app or reading PDF documents. The first thing to do is install the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software. This is the recommended reader for using with SuperNova. You can download it for free using this link.

Set Adobe Acrobat Reader as Default PDF Reader

To make sure that PDF documents open in Adobe Acrobat Reader, you need to set this as the default software for opening .pdf files in windows. To do this:

  1. Open the Start menu
  2. Type: Default Apps
  3. From the search results, choose “Default Aps
  4. Choose “Choose default applications by file type

Image of windows 10 Settings

5.From the list of file types displayed, choose “.pdf” and make sure “Adobe Acrobat DC” is the preferred application to open this file type.

Image of Windows 10 Settings


Check SuperNova Settings

There are some settings I SuperNova which you should double check for best results with reading PDF documents.

  1. Press CTL + SPACEBAR to open the SuperNova Control Panel
  2. Press ALT + S to open the “Speech” menu.
  3. Chose “Advanced Options
  4. Ensure “Use Dolphin Cursor Automatically” is checked.

The next thing to check is that SuperNova has the correct map file assigned to Adobe Acrobat Reader. This will ensure SuperNova knows how to behave when the application is in focus. To do this:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader
  2. Press CTRL + SPACEBAR to open the SuperNova Control Panel.
  3. Choose File > New > Map… >
  4. Make sure that the “Adobe Reader” map file is the one chosen in the list of available map files

Set Accessibility Options in Adobe Reader

Final thing to do is set the Accessibility options in Adobe Reader. SuperNova will generally do this automatically for you but is worth checking. To do this:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  2. Open the “Edit” menu and choose “Accessibility
  3. Choose “Setup Assistant”
  4. Choose “Set options for screen readers

  1. Choose “Infer reading order from document (recommended)

  1. Choose “Read  the entire document at once”

Read a PDF

You should now be all set to read a PDF document. Open any PDF document and SuperNova’s Dolphin Cursor should activate automatically. You may be able to see a highlight on the document to indicate whereabouts I the text the focus is. You can then use the standard navigation keys such as the UP and DOWN ARROW keys, or the “Read from Here” hotkey etc.

Inaccessible PDF documents

Unfortunately, also becoming less and less common, some PDF documents are not immediately accessible for a screen reader, as they are essentially just scanned images (photos) without any actual text. You can usually tell when this is the case, as you won’t be able to read the document using speech, nor select or copy text from the document. SuperNova has a feature which will allow you to red inaccessible PDF files by performing an OCR (text recognition) on the document - to do this:

  1. Press CTRL + SPACEBAR to open the SuperNova Control Panel
  2. Open the “Media” menu
  3. Choose “Scan and Read
  4. Choose “From file…”
  5. Browse to the file you wish to convert into readable text.
  6. Choose whether you wish to open the resulting document in Microsoft Word, or in the Dolphin Reader.

SuperNova will now recognise the text and you will then be able to read it. If you chose to open the document in Microsoft Word, you will also be able to edit and make changes to it.

You can also perform this process with a hotkey. To do this, open an inaccessible PDF document and then press the hot key:


If you continue to have difficulties in reading PDF documents with SuperNova, please contact support@yourdolphin.com