7 AI Tools That Answer Questions From Your PDFs – MUO – MakeUseOf

While some AI chatbots can read PDFs, what about tools that can directly answer questions from them? Here are our top picks.
Whether for your studies or work, going through lengthy PDF files to find any particular piece of information is the most tedious thing to do. However, you can make things easier by using AI tools that answer questions from PDFs.
Most of these are GPT-powered and work like ChatGPT. But, they can provide answers from the PDF you upload. Here, we list the top seven of these tools.
AskYourPdf is a ChatGPT-powered tool that allows you to upload PDFs and get relevant information within a few minutes. Once you’ve uploaded your documents, enter a question about anything in the PDF and get a to-the-point answer.
By using different prompting techniques like assigning it the role of a teacher, you can use AskYourPdf to understand complex topics discussed in your file. Best of all, the tool is completely free to use.
Besides PDFs, you can upload other file types, too, including PPT, .TXT, CSV, and more. AskYourPdf supports up to 40 MB files.
You can export your chat as a PDF for future reference too. Likewise, there's an option to share a unique link that allows others to chat with your uploaded document. Rest assured, it won’t display your chat history to them.
AskYourPdf is also available as a ChatGPT extension, but you must be a ChatGPT Plus user to install plugins. Though the tool works well, you’ll have to learn to write effective prompts for the best results.
ChatPDF is another tool that does exactly what it says on the tin—lets you chat with your PDFs. To get started, you can upload the PDF from your device or fetch it from a URL. It also has a search feature that lets you find PDFs from the internet.
The tool uses GPT 3.5 and supports multiple languages. While it can’t read images in PDFs, the tool can somewhat understand tabular data. ChatPDF saves the chat history and lets you export it. Just like AskYourPdf, it has a feature for sharing the document via a link.
Beware that ChatPDF responses can also contain information that’s not mentioned in the uploaded file. So, be sure to double-check any answers.
It has both free and paid plans. The free account restricts file size to 10 MB and 120 pages, the number of questions to 50 per day, and documents uploaded to three. Upgrading to the Plus plan (for $5 monthly) increases these limits.
Perhaps, the best thing about Documind is that you can search for information from multiple PDFs together.
First, the tool lets you upload the documents, individually as well as in bulk. Then, you can visit the dashboard and start asking questions. Documind will scan all the documents to find answers.
Besides letting you find specific information from your PDF, Documind can also generate summaries of lengthy documents.
Another interesting use case of Documind is that you can upload PDF to create your own chatbot and add it to your website. This way, you can use it as your customer support agent. Of course, you can use it internally within your team as well.
However, Documind only provides 15 free credits. Beyond that, you will have to upgrade to any of the three paid plans, with prices starting from $5 per month. It also provides API access.
LightPDF has dozens of tools for converting, protecting, and editing PDFs. One of these is an AI chatbot for reading PDF files. The tool not only provides quick answers to your questions but also generates summaries, outlines, and tables from the uploaded document.
Perhaps one of the handiest features is that it displays the page number of the file from which the information was extracted, so you can quickly double-check it.
From Settings, you can change the language or switch to a more precise or more creative mode. LightPDF isn’t just limited to PDF only, as the tool supports Excel, Word, and PPT files as well. For uploading PDFs with more than 200 pages or files in a format other than PDF, you’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan.
Though LightPDF works seamlessly in the browser, it has mobile and desktop apps as well.
PDF.ai has quite a clean yet handy interface. It splits the tab into two columns, showing your document on one side and the chatbot on the other. Similarly, from the dashboard, you can access all the uploaded documents and your chat history.
With each answer, PDF.ai mentions the source (the page number of the file), clicking which takes you directly to that particular page. You can adjust the display and zoom of the file to review the document yourself.
The free account lets you upload a single PDF only, so it's just for testing purposes. But if you are willing to spend $15 per month, PDF.ai removes all restrictions except 50 MB per PDF. PDF.ai also has a Chrome extension for PDF.
Though costly, PDF.ai is a great, user-friendly tool, especially if you prefer to view the document yourself instead of solely relying on AI.
As the name suggests, FileGPT answers questions from different kinds of files, not just PDFs. These include Docs, webpages, audio, and even videos. The paid versions also support handwritten text and unstructured PDFs.
Much like Documind, FileGPT lets you ask questions from several files at the same time. Better still, you can create a chat with a collection of files and ask questions from it. This way, you can keep all your files uploaded but include or exclude specific ones from any chat. So, it’s an ideal AI tool for researchers who want to search multiple files simultaneously.
FileGPT also displays clickable references. Clicking on these shows extracts from the original file. You can also open the uploaded document in the sidebar, similar to how PDF.ai splits the screen.
The paid plans begin from $18 per month. If you choose Growth or a higher account, you can integrate the tool with your website and provide live AI chat support to your customers. Another benefit of upgrading is access to GPT-4 and GPT-3.5-turbo 16K, which are much more powerful than GPT-3.5.
ClarifyPDF lets you upload up to 10 MB files and ask questions from it, besides generating summaries. However, it supports English language only.
Unlike other tools listed here, ClarifyPDF lets you share your chat messages as well as the documents with your friends via a unique link. It promises to keep your chat history forever.
One of the downsides of ClarifyPDF is that it doesn’t have a free plan. And even the paid plan costs $1.99 per PDF, making it more expensive for power users.
Thanks to these tools, finding relevant information from a 100-page PDF is as easy as sending a few messages to your friends. These tools search the entire PDF and provide a relevant, concise answer, much like a ChatGPT response.
However, if you’re comfortable using ChatGPT and don’t want to spend money on another tool, there are ways to let ChatGPT read PDFs.
Born and based in Pakistan, Syed Hammad Mahmood has over three years of writing experience. His areas of expertise include browsers, online tools, and productivity software. Since childhood, he has been surfing the web, finding tools and tricks to make the most of the latest technologies.