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NaturalReader

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

It can read text from:

  • Microsoft Word,
  • PDFs, including digital examination papers;
  • emails,
  • the internet.

The new NaturalReader version 15 seems to be much more reliable than the previous version 14, so we suggest you try it from NaturalReader's web site. We also have permission to distribute the older version 13 which is stable.

Download:

 

How do I use NaturalReader?

There are 2 ways to operate NaturalReader:

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

1. Floating Toolbar

If you want to read short sections of text - from an exam paper or web page 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 top right of the NaturalReader window.

Then:

  1. Select the text you want to read;
  2. Click the Play button to have it read out.

Click on the Text button in the bottom right of the bar to see each word of the text highlighted as it is read out.

To change the voice or voice speed, click the Settings cog.

 

2. 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) you want to read
  2. Paste it into the NaturalReader Window (Press Ctrl-V);
  3. Click the Play button to have it read out.

 

Changing the voice

You can choose your reading voice with the Settings cog. NaturalReader can use the free high quality Scottish voices available for the Scottish public sector.

There are also a paid-for version of NaturalReader which comes with their own high quality voices. 

The paid-for versions can also:

  • 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.