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Penfriend is a commercial floating toolbar containing features to make reading and writing easier. It can read out text from almost any program such as:

  • Adobe Reader,
  • Microsoft Word,
  • internet browsers.


There are two editions of Penfriend:

  • Penfriend XP - standard edition.
  • Penfriend XL - provides 'type and speak' on mouse hover as well as word prediction in other languages.

As well as a portable edition which allows you to run either from a memory stick.


  • Play and Stop reading buttons (from Penfriend Clipboard)
  • Speaks words on hover (XL edition only)
  • Speaks words and homophones in prediction list (XL edition only)
  • Reads aloud typed characters, words and sentences
  • Reads characters on on-screen keyboard
  • Word prediction and text-to-speech in 9 European languages (XL edition only)
  • Screen reader (XL edition only)

How do I use Penfriend?

  1. Select 'Clipboard' from the 'View Menu'.
  2. This opens the Penfriend Clipboard.
  3. Select some text from your document.
  4. Copy it by pressing Ctrl + C.
  5. This will copy it automatically to the Penfriend Clipboard.
  6. Use the Play, Stop and Pause to have the text read back to you.


Changing the voice

If you have your own voices installed on your PC then they can be changed via Preferences.

  1. Select 'Preferences' from the 'View Menu'.
  2. Click on the 'Speech Options' button.
  3. Select the voice you require.
  4. Press ok when finished.

You can download free high quality Scottish voices which are  available freely for the Scottish public sector.