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NaturalReader

NaturalReader is a free text reader which can be installed on your PC. It operates in its own program Window or as a floating toolbar.

It can read text from:

  • Microsoft Word,
  • PDFs,
  • emails,
  • the internet.

We have found the latest version 14 of NaturalReader to be unreliable, but we have permission to distribute the previous version 13, which is stable.

We're not saying version 14 won't work on your machine, but if it doesn't then uninstall it and go for version 13.

Download:

 

How do I use NaturalReader?

There are 2 ways to operate NaturalReader:

  • in its own program Window;
  • or as a floating toolbar.

 

1. Program Window

If you want to read a lot of text - a book chapter, for example - then copying and pasting into the window is perhaps best.

  1. Copy the text (Press Ctrl-C) to be read;
  2. Paste it into the NaturalReader Window (Press Ctrl-V);
  3. Click the Play button to have it read out.

You can also open Word, PDF and Epub files directly for reading by clicking on Open. Note that NaturalReader will just pull in the text from a file leaving behind any images from the original document. If you are trying to open a book, it will take NaturalReader a few seconds to open the document, so be patient!

2. Floating Toolbar

If you want to read short sections of text - from a web page or an exam paper for example - then the Floating Bar is more practical because it lets you see more of the page on screen.

To activate the floating toolbar, you need to click on the Floating Bar button in the bottom right of the NaturalReader window.

Then:

  1. Copy the text (Press Ctrl-C) to be read;
  2. Click the Play button to have it read out.
 

Changing the voice

If you have your own voices installed on your PC then they can be changed via the Settings button (cog icon in top right). You can use the free version with the free high quality Scottish voices available for the Scottish public sector.

There is a paid-for version (NaturalReader) which comes with high quality voices. 

The paid for version has features to:

  • save the text as an audio file;
  • change pronunciations;
  • add tags to change the voice or reading;
  • add a toolbar to use NaturalReader in Microsoft programs and browsers;
  • use word prediction;
  • convert scanned images to readable text.
 

Installation on school computers

We have been asked if free NaturalReader can be installed on school computers, so I contacted NaturalReader to check.

I asked:

A school has contacted me to ask if they can install free NaturalReader on the computers in the school – can you advise if this is acceptable under your licence?

They said:

Yes, the free version of NaturalReaders may be used without restrictions.