You are in:

MiniReader No More

by Paul Nisbet

on Mon Jul 20, 2015

Share this blog

Share on:

  • Twitter share
  • Facebook share
  • linkedin share
  • Google+ share

At present there are:

Since you're here...

training course

CALL Scotland course,
University of Edinburgh
25th January, 2018

Low Cost/No Cost Apps and Software to Support Learners with literacy difficulties

training courseNewsletter

Get news, articles, advice and tips.

It seems that IVONA MiniReader, the free text reader we liked for reading digital exams, is no longer available for download.

I've therefore spent the afternoon reminding myself of some alternatives - and thanks to Abi James and Jean Hutchins of the BDA Technology group for sharing some hints and tips. Of the free programs, I like NaturalReader best because it's the simplest. Orato and Balabolka are both good but reading text from a PDF involves an extra step because you have to select, then copy the text, then click to read it.

NaturalReader is a simple text reader for Windows and MacOS which can read out text from almost any program – Adobe Reader, Microsoft Word, internet browsers etc.. NaturalReader can use our free Heather and Stuart voices and most other voices on your computer. The program is very simple: select the text, then click the ‘Play’ button.

 

 

Orato is another free text reader that can read text from Word, PDF, emails, Facebook or the internet. You select the text you want to read, copy it, and then click the 'Speak' button. (There is an option to automatically speak the clipboard, but it reads out the text and then repeat the first few words several times, which is quite disconcerting and could be confusing in an exam.) 

 

 

A third program is Balabolka. It's a great tool for reading long files and especially for converting text into audio files, but you can also use it as a text reader for a digital paper.

The simplest way to use Balabolka to read exam papers is with it's 'floating window'. ​​Select the text and copy it to the clipboard (press CTRL-C, or right click and choose Copy, or choose Copy from the program's menu). ​Then click the Read Clipboard Aloud button at the right hand end of the Balabolka toolbar.  

You should also consider the paid-for programs such as ClaroRead, Co:Writer, Penfriend and Read and Write because they offer more features and facilities which can help support learners with reading and writing difficulties.

Tags: digital exams, accessibility, text-to-speech

Share this blog

Share on:

  • Twitter share
  • Facebook share
  • linkedin share
  • Google+ share

At present there are:

Conversations