You are in:

Reading Web Pages Revisited

by Allan Wilson

on Tue Aug 31, 2010

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
30th October, 2018

A guide to selecting iPad communication apps

training courseNewsletter

Get news, articles, advice and tips.

Sign me up!

During the early part of 2009 we spent some time comparing different text-to-speech utilities that could be be used to read text aloud from web sites and published our conclusions in our Reading the Web information sheet. At the time, we found the best option was to use the free Click Speak utility with Firefox. There wasn't an option for Internet Explorer that we were totally happy to recommend: Read and Write Gold worked well, but is expensive, while most of the low cost / free utilities had some feature that we were not happy with. There have been a few developments over the past year so it is worth providing a short update here, prior to revising the information sheet.

Firstly, a couple of web browsers now have text-to-speech facilities embedded within the program. On the Apple Mac, Safari users can now access a pretty primitive text to speech facility by highlighting the text to be read and using the mouse to select - Edit - Speech - Start Speaking. The computer will now speak the text using its default voice. There are a couple of text-to-speech extensions for Google Chrome, Read Me Please! and Chrome Page Reader, but we couldn't get either to work!

A Solution for Internet Explorer?

We recently came across a nice little utility, Panopreter, that can be used to read out files in a variety of formats and can also create MP3 / WAV sound files from text. Two versions of the program are available, Basic and Plus. The Basic version is free and can be used to read text files out aloud, or to create MP3 files. Unfortunately, the text files cannot be seen as they are being read, which limits the use of this program. The Plus version, costing $29.95, is much more useful. Text is visible as it is read, with each word being highlighted as it is spoken and the program can even handle PDF files. The Plus version also adds a toolbar to Internet Explorer, which provides options for either an entire web page, or selected text to be read out loud. Individual words are highlighted as they are spoken. It is also possible to use the Panopreter Plus to convert a web page into an MP3 / WAV file that can be played back by an MP3 player. In terms of value for money and ease of use, Panopreter Plus is probably the best option currently available for reading text from Internet Explorer.

Tags: access, text-to-speech

Share this blog

Share on:

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

At present there are:

Conversations