The way we analyze and summarize documents is changing. Gone are the days when you had to pore over long papers, documents, or eBooks to get to the crux of their contents.
Instead, document-reading AI tools allow you to upload documents online and receive insights into what they’re all about at speed.
Interested? Good, because you’re in the right place. I’m taking a deep dive into one such tool: aiPDF. More specifically, we’ll explore what it is, its pros and cons, prices, how it works, and some alternatives.
But if you’re short on time, here’s the bottom line up front:
- aiPDF is an AI-fuelled assistant that you can use to upload several document types (listed below) and receive an instant summary of their content.
- aiPDF also allows you to “chat” with it about your documents using natural language questions – i.e., you can type in questions related to the document’s content.
- You can also use aiPDF to “chat” about the content of any website. You just have to upload the relevant URL.
- There are three price plans; one is free, with paid-for subscription plans starting from $9 a month.
- You can save uploaded documents and view your “chats” related to each document.
That’s enough preamble; let’s sink our teeth into the meat and potatoes of this aiPDF review:
In this article:
aiPDF Pros and Cons
- There’s a free forever plan, and the two paid plans are very reasonably priced
- It’s easy to use
- aiPDF conducts document analysis in seconds
- The user reviews are largely positive
- It’s very new, and as such, there’s very little information about it online
- The free plan only allows you to upload two documents a month
- Its website could benefit from more information, for example, a more expansive FAQs and help section.
What is aiPDF?
aiPDF describes itself as ‘the only AI PDF tool that’s actually fun to use!’
In short, it’s a new AI assistant that recently launched on the 24th of November, 2023. It was created by Catalin Zorzini, Rishi Chowdhury, and Theodore Calafatidis. The trio met online in early 2023 and “immediately connected through their passion for technology and ethics.”
For those not in the know, aiPDF is an online app, so you don’t need to download or install anything. You simply upload any file type to receive a summary of its content, plus suggested questions you could ask it about the document! All of this happens within seconds.
aiPDF works for PDFs, eBooks, essays, YouTube videos, and podcasts. At the time of writing, 5,121 documents had been uploaded to aiPDF since its launch.
aiPDF offers several suggested document use cases that you could upload to receive an analysis of their content:
- Scientific papers
- Fiction books
- Religious text
- Corporate pricing strategy paper
- Study companion on a range of topics
- Complex essays
However, the platform is at pains to emphasize that it’s a research aid, not a replacement for actual pieces of work themselves.
aiPDF also bills itself as an ethical alternative to similar AI tools. The company donates monthly to eco-friendly charities via their charity Earth.fm. They also support ‘One Percent for the Planet,’ a global network of thousands of businesses committed to donating at least 1% of their yearly sales to eco-friendly organizations.
How Does aiPDF Work?
When I tested aiPDF, I found it very simple to use.
You just sign up via aiPDF’s homepage by clicking the “Try for Free” button. You then sign in via Google, and you’re straight in. You can start experimenting with document and website upload and analysis.
You can return to any uploaded document by selecting the “Documents” tab at the top of the page.
Please note: The length of time aiPDF saves a file depends on the pricing plan you’ve signed up for (more about aiPDF’s pricing below).
I uploaded a simple PDF and, in seconds, received a summary of its contents.
Underneath the summary were several suggested questions I could ask about the document. If you click on any of the suggested questions, aiPDF gives you a response in seconds, citing which pages in the document those answers came from.
Alternatively, there’s a search bar where you can type in questions to ask aiPDF about the document you’ve just uploaded. aiPDF saves any questions you ask. You can access these by clicking the “Chats” button.
You can also play around with the uploaded document by clicking the three dots in the right-hand corner of the text. You can then perform various functions, including rotating clockwise and anti-clockwise, scrolling to the end, scrolling through pages, and viewing the document properties, such as file size. You can also print the document by selecting the printer icon.
aiPDF’s website also offers several use cases you can experiment with. For example, the entire text of Moby Dick (all 468 pages), an Elon Musk biography, and a Physics thesis on Quantum Theory.
In each instance, we could see the document’s text on the left-hand side of the web page and, on the right, a summary of the document, plus suggested questions relating to it.
On aiPDF’s homepage, I pasted The Guardian’s homepage URL. As with document analysis, aiPDF provided a fast summary of the website’s homepage content.
It also listed suggested questions to ask and provided an option to ask your own questions.
Here are a few examples of the suggested questions aiPDF listed:
- What are Manchester United’s struggles in soccer that are discussed?
- What are the challenges to Boris Johnson’s leadership from within his own party?
- What is the Dutch farmers’ protest over environmental policies about?
There are three subscription plans to choose from.
You can either pay monthly or annually, with the latter boasting a percentage discount:
- Playful: Free (Sign in using your Google account)
- Dynamic: $9 a month or $8.25 a month billed yearly
- Flagship: $19 a month or $16.58 a month billed yearly
Let’s explore what’s included in each plan:
- Two PDF uploads a month
- 1-month save duration for documents
- 550 questions
- 15MB max PDF size
- 120 PDF uploads
- Six months save duration
- 5500 questions
- 25 MB max PDF size
- Unlimited PDF uploads
- Unlimited save duration
- Unlimited questions
- 30MB max PDF file
Whichever plan you go for, you can oversee your subscription (once signed in) by clicking the “Subscription” button. You’ll then be able to see:
- Which subscription you’re signed up to
- How many documents you’ve uploaded
- How much of your monthly upload allowance you still have
- How many questions you can still ask that month
To manage your subscription, click the “Manage Subscription” button. From there, enter your email address, and aiPDF will send a link to upgrade or cancel your subscription.
Top 3 aiPDF Alternatives
For balance, let’s examine our top three aiPDF alternatives:
ChatPDF is aimed at students, researchers, and professionals who want to upload documents and receive instant analysis and suggested questions for further interaction.
You can upload documents for free without any sign-in required. CatPDF supports the following document types: books, research papers, legal papers, essays, financial reports, scientific papers, and more.
ChatPDF can chat in any language and accept files in any language.
You can use it for free to upload two PDFs a day, with a maximum of 120 pages each. To upload more documents, you’ll need to upgrade to the ChatPDF Plus plan, which costs $20 a month. This plan lets you upload unlimited documents, ask endless questions, and more.
Askyourpdf.com is a ChatPDF AI extension that can be used via your web browser or downloaded as an app from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
It’s a ChatGPT tool that’s described as a research assistant tool. It supports the following file formats: PDF, TXT, PPT, PPTX, EPUB, and RTF.
Like its competitors, you can scan documents and “chat” with them. You upload a document, and askyourpdf.com instantly scans it to provide a summary of its contents.
You’ll also see three possible questions to ask it about the document. For example, we uploaded a life insurance application form, and the suggested questions were:
- What is the purpose of the form mentioned in the document?
- What are the consequences of providing misleading or incomplete information in the application?
- Can you explain the exemption regarding predictive genetics tests for life insurance policies below £500,000?
It’s free to use, but you’ll need to sign up for a paid plan to benefit from Askyourpdf.com’s full capabilities, including uploading large documents and ChatGPT4 access. Prices start at $11.99 a month.
The free option allows you to upload one document per day with a maximum upload of 15MB and 50 questions per day.
AskPaper is another free tool designed to help users conduct research, with a specific focus on finding datasets. It comes with a dashboard from which you can manage all your activities.
You can upload papers via a URL or PDF file and ask natural language questions about the document.
When interacting with AskPaper, you can also select predefined prompts such as “generate summary,” “explain selected text,” or “extract datasets.”
To use AskPaper, you have to sign in via Discord or log in with your email as a guest user. You get up to five free uploads as a guest user. However, to unlock more free uploads, you have to sign up with Discord.
aiPDF Review: My Final Thoughts
That brings us to the end of my aiPDF review. Hopefully, I’ve provided enough information to decide if it’s the right document reader for you. On the plus side, it’s definitely affordable and has excellent eco credentials. We also like that it’s clear about its intentions, e.g., as a study aid, but not, for example, to replace the joy of reading a book.
It’s also simple to sign up for, and document analysis came in seconds, as did responses to our natural language questions. On top of that, out of all the tools listed here, aiPDF is the only one that specifically mentions being able to upload videos and podcasts.
However, because it’s so new, it’s hard to know what other users think of it, as there hasn’t been a chance for it to garner many reviews yet. That said, the few reviews we found online were pretty positive!
That said, it’s free to try, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by giving it a go!
That’s all from me, over to you. Are you ready to try aiPDF or one of its alternatives? Let us know in the comments box below!