A 'text-to-speech' program or 'text reader' on your computer or tablet reads text from a document or web page to you using a computer voice.
A text reader can read:
Text-to-speech may help if you:
A text reader can also help you with your writing. You can:
You need a computer or other device such as a:
Windows laptop or PC;
Mac laptop or computer;
iPad or iPhone;
Android tablet or phone.
Your device will need both the text-to-speech software (or an app) and a computer voice. All these devices have text readers and voices already built-in to them. However, you can also download and buy better software and voices from various suppliers.
There are high quality Scottish computer voices available free to schools, pupils, students and public sector organisations in Scotland.
Yes, text recognition software (OCR programs), recognise text from scanned documents or photographs and then you can read back to you on your computer device.
To do this:
For more detailed information and instructions, see our 'scan and OCR' page on the Books for All website.
There are many text readers on the market. The free readers such as Ivona MiniReader, NaturalReader, WordTalk or Orato are simple and easy to use, and if you just want to read text, are often all that you need. The commercial packages such as ClaroRead, Read&Write and Penfriend have extra features to support reading and writing. In most cases you can download a demo to try them out.
Can be run from a USB stick/drive, providing a portable text reader.
Highlights the text as it's read back to you.
Can read out text from almost any program.
A reading support tool built into many Microsoft 365 programs.
A simple text reader which adds a floating toolbar on the screen.
A free text reader tool for Word, Powerpoint, Excel and OneNote.
Operates in its own program Window or as a floating Miniboard.
Suite of portable freeware applications assembled into one package.
Can be installed on your PC or run from a USB Pen Drive for portable use.
It can read out text from almost any program.
Flexible floating toolbar containing features to make reading and writing easier.
Adobe Reader has a free built-in text-to-speech called Read Out Loud, but it has limitations.
A floating toolbar containing features to make reading and writing easier.
A free 'text-to-speech' plugin for Microsoft Word created by Rod Macaulay.
The built-in Text to Speech is accessed through the Dictation and Speech.
iPads and iPhones have very useful 'Speak Selection' and 'Speak Screen' facilities.
A range of text-to-speech facilities are built-in.