Tech

How to Convert a PDF File Into an Audiobook Using Python



Audiobooks are gaining more and more popularity over traditional eBooks. They’re more convenient as you can listen to them anytime and anywhere.

You can convert an eBook PDF to an audiobook with a simple Python script. Using some simple libraries, you can develop a project that will read out a PDF and store the audiobook as a new file.

Installing Required Packages

You need to install the PyPDF3, pyttsx3, and pdfplumber packages to get started. You can install these packages using the pip package manager. Make sure you have already installed pip on your system. Run the following command in the command prompt to install the packages:

pip install PyPDF3 pyttsx3 pdfplumber
  • You can use the PyPDF3 library to read and edit PDF files in Python.
  • The pyttsx3 library provides text-to-speech conversion.
  • pdfplumber is a library that lets you extract text and tables from PDF files.

The code used in this project is available in a GitHub repository and is free for you to use under the MIT license.

Converting a PDF to an Audiobook Using Python

Once you’ve installed the above packages, you’re ready to import them into your python file:

import PyPDF3
import pyttsx3
import pdfplumber

You need to provide the name and location of the PDF file you want to convert. For the sake of simplicity, you can use any sample PDF file. Copy it to the same directory as your script and store its name in a variable; if it’s called Lorem.pdf, for example:

file = 'Lorem.pdf'

Next, create a file object for the PDF file and a PDF reader object:

book = open(file, 'rb')
pdfReader = PyPDF3.PdfFileReader(book)

Later, you’ll loop through all the pages of the PDF file. To find the total number of pages, use the numPages property:

pages = pdfReader.numPages

Now, you’re ready to extract the text from the PDF file:

finalText = ""

with pdfplumber.open(file) as pdf:
for i in range(0, pages):
page = pdf.pages[i]
text = page.extract_text()
finalText += text

Use a for loop to iterate through all the pages and extract the text from the PDF. You can use the pdfplumber package to open the pdf file and the extract_text method to fetch text from a page.

With the full text stored in a variable, you can process it further, depending on your requirements. If you want to convert the text into audio and save it into a new file, use the following code:

engine = pyttsx3.init()
engine.save_to_file(finalText, 'lorem.mp3')
engine.runAndWait()

When you run this Python code, it will create an audiobook file in its directory.

If you don’t want to save the audiobook and, for example, want to recite the PDF file, you can use the following code instead:

engine = pyttsx3.init()
engine.say(finalText)
engine.runAndWait()

When you run this script, it will recite the PDF file.

Develop Projects Using Python

Python is known for its versatility. You can easily create projects with practical applications using Python.

If you’re looking to get your hands dirty with Python code, you can start by developing mini-projects. Some good starting ideas are a quiz app, chatbot, snake game, URL shortener, web scraper, or unit converter.

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