How ChatGPT Can Help You Do More With PDFs

If your PDFs aren’t hosted online, then AskYourPDF can upload them for you, and you can then submit queries through ChatGPT. You can ask for specific details from specific sections, get overviews and summaries, get certain sections rewritten, and generally do anything ChatGPT can do with standard blocks of text.

The plug-in also responds well to follow-up questions, if you need clarification on something that’s been said previously, or need to know where in a PDF document a response was sourced from.

Doc Maker

A lesson plan is one kind of document that Doc Maker can produce.

Doc Maker via David Nield

Doc Maker offers something a bit different, in that it is focused more on making PDFs than querying them. There’s no shortage of tools for this job, of course, but the extra twist of using ChatGPT as part of the process can be helpful in a variety of ways.

Here’s how it works: You specify the type of PDF you want to create, and Doc Maker helps you make it, with ChatGPT’s assistance. Maybe you want to put together a résumé, or you need to compile a financial report, or you’ve got a newsletter to finish. The plug-in will prompt you for the text it needs, or you can generate it using AI.

Say you have meeting minutes to write up, for example—give Doc Maker and ChatGPT access to the text and you can have a summary in PDF format in just a few seconds. You’ve got all the text-generating capabilities of ChatGPT, but also with an easy way to get that text into a shareable, standard format.


Use ScholarAI to search for as well as query scientific papers.

ScholarAI via David Nield

If scientific papers are the PDFs that you spend most of your time with, then ScholarAI is going to be a ChatGPT plug-in of particular interest. It gives you access to more than 40 million peer-reviewed papers in PDF form from across the web, and you can query them individually or search through the database in its entirety.

For example, you might want to start by looking for papers on a particular topic that have been published this year, or in any specific range of years. Then, you could get ScholarAI to look at specific aspects of one particular paper—summarizing sections, asking about the methods used in the experiments, and so on. At the same time, ChatGPT can pull in more background knowledge that’s not in the paper.

ScholarAI has been built to try to minimize the number of false hallucinations ChatGPT has, and to back up its answers with solid research. You can get the plug-in to link back to the paper on the web, and to quote specific lines from it, in order to double-check the answers that you’re being given.

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