How to Use – The Complete Guide

Last updated on March 12, 2024

Summary :

Learn about the detailed steps to chat with PDF using ChatPDF, and how to resolve issues when using ChatPDF. Additionally, given the limitations of the free plan of ChatPDF, a free ChatPDF alternative is also introduced.

Table of Contents

How to Use ChatPDF

How to Use ChatPDF

It is crazy! It even knows more than me! With the emergence of ChatGPT at the end of 2022, it seems a new era was brought into being by it – the era of ChatGPT. No one can not be shocked by how smart it is.

And now ChatPDF with the new ChatGPT API amazes people again, allowing you to converse with a PDF file. It helps read PDFs using ChatGPT and comprehend and analyze PDF files effortlessly. has a clean and simple interface and is among the best AI summarizers that help you condense information from large PDF files. Now let’s get to the detailed steps.

How to Use

Now you have an understanding of, in this part, we will show you how to start conversations with your PDF file using But note that, according to our earlier ChatPDF review, the PDF file is limited to 120 pages.

Open in your preferred browser and then you will find there are three options provided to upload PDFs: Browse my computer, From URL, or Find a PDF. These three options can further be divided into two categories, a PDF file and a URL.

Follow us to see how they work respectively.

1. How to Chat with PDF from a PDF File

If the PDF you need to chat with is a local file stored on your computer or a PDF file downloaded from the internet, this part of the tutorial is for you.

Step 1. Upload the Needed PDF File

Directly drag and drop the PDF file into by tapping on the Drop PDF here button or selecting from your device.

Or tap on the Find a PDF button to input the related words to search for a PDF from the internet.

Upload PDF Files in ChatPDF

Upload PDF Files in ChatPDF

Step 2. Start a Conversation

Once your PDF file has been successfully uploaded, you will receive a warm welcome from ChatPDF coming with a summarization of the PDF and three suggested questions that you might want to ask. You can tap any of the three options.

Start a Chat using ChatPDF

Start a Chat using ChatPDF

Step 3. Get Your Answer

If the provided questions are not what you need, you can also type in your question in the box below and press Enter to send. After sending a question, it will take a little time to get your response from ChatPDF.

Get a Response from ChatPDF

Get a Response from ChatPDF

Step 4. Check Information Source

When ChatPDF provides an answer, it also shows the cited sources for you to validate the provided information. Simply click on it to fast jump to the source of the given information.

Jump to the Source of Information

Jump to the Source of Information

2. How to Chat with PDF from a URL

You might prefer using a URL for PDF files that are hosted over the web, for its large sizes or a quick share among different people. Kindly, ChatPDF takes it into account and allows you to upload a PDF via a URL.

Step 1. Go to the ChatPDF homepage, and tap on the From URL to upload the PDF that you need.

Upload PDF via URL

Upload PDF via URL

Step 2. Paste the URL of your PDF file and tap on the Go get it button, the ChatPDF will immediately parse the document. Make sure to input the URL of an actual PDF file, the ones that end with .pdf notably.

Converse with ChatPDF

Converse with ChatPDF

Step 3. Now you can start chatting with PDF in ChatPDF. Just like introduced above, click on any suggested questions or type in your own queries.

Initiate a Question

Initiate a Question

ChatPDF Key Features and Limitations

As seen, ChatPDF enables a natural dialogue with PDF files and delivers prompt responses. It eliminates the need to manually search for a specific answer, thereby significantly increasing work and study efficiency.

Key Features

  • ChatPDF’s user-friendly homepage interface provides a seamless experience.
  • Smart query capabilities are powered by ChatGPT API, delivering fast and accurate responses.
  • Global users can chat with PDFs in multiple languages.
  • Additionally, ChatGPT API enables cross-platform communication with ChatPDF.

There is no argument that ChatPDF does a great job of helping users enhance productivity and expand knowledge. Just a little pity, you must have a stable internet connection to use, and ChatPDF has many restrictions for free users: 10MB file size, 50 questions for a PDF, 3 PDFs a day, 50 questions a day, etc.

So for users who are looking for a completely free solution, or working without a stable internet connection, you might try one of the best ChatPDF alternatives – PDFgear Chatbot.

How to Use ChatPDF Free Alternative

PDFgear Chatbot is a desktop PDF chatbot application so you can use it even if you are offline, and one of the best ChatPDF alternatives. Similar to ChatPDF, PDFgear Chatbot also integrates the ChatGPT AI to provide users with high-quality responses, like extracting information from a large size of PDF file.

It is totally free and it has no restrictions. How to start chatting with your PDF via it? Here we go.

Free ChatPDF Offline Alternative

PDFgear is a completely free AI chatbot that allows you to summarize, analyze, and rewrite PDF documents without limitations.

Step 1. Go to PDFgear’s official site and download PDFgear Chatbot on your Windows, Mac, iPad, and iPhone. Launch PDFgear on your device and you will see its interface below. Click on the Open File button to import your needed PDF file into PDFgear.

Open a PDF File

Open a PDF File

Step 2. When your PDF file is successfully uploaded, navigate to the chat box from the sidebar. Here, click the Chat Now button to initiate a question related to your PDF document.

Converse with PDFs with PDFgear Chatbot

Converse with PDFs with PDFgear Chatbot

Step 3. After you send a query, you will get 3 suggested questions, and you can also input your own questions – just like ChatPDF.

Get replies from the PDFgear Chatbot

Get replies from the PDFgear Chatbot


Is ChatPDF free?

While ChatPDF allows you to chat with PDF documents online for free, it’s not a completely free online service. ChatPDF has limitations regarding the file size, the amount of PDF files and questions, and more, and you need to pay for the $5/month subscription to remove the restrictions.

Why ChatPDF could not read PDF?

If ChatPDF says “ChatPDF upload error. could not read PDF”, the causes vary:

  • If the PDF file is damaged or corrupted, ChatPDF may not be able to read it. Try opening the file with another PDF reader to see if it is still accessible.
  • If the PDF file is password-protected, like PDF encrypted in Word, ChatPDF can’t access it. You need to first unlock the PDF.
  • ChatPDF doesn’t support PDFs in an older or incompatible format. You should convert the PDF file to a compatible format before uploading.
  • ChatPDF can not process PDF files over 10/32MB for Free/Plus users.
  • ChatPDF may go down from time to time, contact the ChatPDF support team for assistance.

How to save my chat history when using

On ChatPDF, you need to sign up for an account to save your chat history. You are allowed to save the chats as PDFs, CSV, or texts for late use.

How many PDF documents are supported on has two plans, a free plan, and a paid plan. For the free version, 120 pages are supported. And for the paid version, 2000 pages are supported.

How many questions can I ask per day on ChatPDF?

For the number of questions, ChatPDF also has free and paid versions. You are allowed to ask 50 questions per day for free and 1000 questions are allowed for the paid version.

Does ChatPDF save my personal information on the server?

No. always puts user privacy and security first. Your personal information will only be saved temporarily and then be automatically deleted after 7 days.

How Does ChatPDF Work?

Indeed, it is really amazing when an AI chatbot can work with digital documents now. In a nutshell, ChatPDF works by allowing digital PDF documents as input, which is a feature already implemented by ChatGPT Plus.

ChatPDF, in the analyzing process, creates a semantic index over all paragraphs of the PDF. It further utilizes text embeddings and embedding models to convert all pages of a document into vectors. It then employs an embedded search technique to vectorize the user’s query and determine the most suitable page that potentially provides the answer.

The data, information, and user questions will be further transferred to OpenAI using ChatGPT API, and generate responses from there. With its deep learning algorithms, ChatGPT Plus can perform natural language processing on text extracted from PDF files.

How to Use ChatPDF: Video Tutorial


Now you’re familiar with ChatPDF for analyzing, summarizing, or querying your PDF files. However, its usage limits might be a setback for larger or numerous files.

But fear not, PDFgear offers a free, unlimited alternative. PDFgear surpasses ChatPDF with additional capabilities like search in PDF, conversion, annotation, signing, and editing PDFs.

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